After winning just one game in Phoenix last week, the Arizona Wildcats (23-11, 8-7 Pac-12) head to Corvallis needing to register a road series win.
This isn't exactly the same tier of Oregon State (23-11, 6-6 Pac-12) team that we've seen in the past, but the Beavers are still one of the top teams on the West Coast.
Here's a look at the probable pitchers for the three games. Arizona and Andy Lopez are making a slight change in the Saturday slot.
Friday (5:35 PM PT): RHP Cody Hamlin (4-1, 4.50) vs. RHP Andrew Moore (3-1, 1.46)
Saturday (4:05 PM PT): RHP Nathan Bannister (5-1, 3.60) vs. RHP Drew Rasmussen (4-2, 2.44)
Sunday (1:05 PM PT): RHP Bobby Dalbec (2-3, 3.53) vs. RHP Travis Eckert (3-0, 4.01)
All the games will be on 1290 AM radio in Tucson. Oregon State will also stream the games live here
Bannister gets a tough draw for his first-career weekend start in Rasmussen. Oregon State's right-handed freshman has thrown a perfect game this season against Washington State, the first perfect game in OSU history. Since then, Rasmussen has gone just 1-2 and been beaten up a little bit, but his one win came last week against Oregon.
Friday night starter Andrew Moore is on the Golden Spikes watch list, and for good reason. Moore has lasted at least 6 1/3 innings in each of his starts in 2015, and has given up more than two earned runs just twice (Oklahoma State and Cal Poly). His Pac-12 ERA is 0.58, so it'll be interesting if Arizona's big-time offense can get to the six-foot junior.
Sunday would seem to be a favorable matchup for Arizona. Dalbec is coming off a ridiculous performance Monday night against ASU, and Eckert is struggling. The OSU starter has given up nine earned runs in 6 2/3 innings in his last two starts combined.
OSU's rotation also favors Arizona since it is all right-handed pitchers. This means that Michael Hoard should be in the lineup as the DH on Friday and Saturday, which is good for Arizona's offense. He remains the team leader in on-base percentage, currently getting on base exactly half of his plate appearances.
Hoard won't be in the lineup on Sunday because of Dalbec hitting for himself, but that's okay as Arizona's third baseman/Sunday starter leads the league with ten home runs after swatting three out of Phoenix Municipal last weekend. Dalbec has safely reached base in every game this year.
Oregon State's bullpen is struggling this month, just another thing Arizona needed to see this weekend. OSU's relievers have combined for an 0-3 record, 5.29 ERA, and 15 walks in 17 innings. They are better at home this season though, posting a 2.34 ERA at Goss Stadium.
On paper, this is a good matchup overall for Arizona, and should allow for a series victory for the Wildcats. It's just a question on whether or not the team can get clutch hits and move runners around the bases. And of course, the question mark on how the starting pitchers will perform. If UA gets decent outings (6 or 7 innings) from all three, things should go well.