Beavers earn No. 1 national seed
CORVALLIS — The Beavers are back with a vengeance.
Disappointed by last season's postseason snub, Oregon State made it a goal to return to the NCAA Division I baseball tournament this season. And they did it in decisively, capturing the No. 1 national seed.
"It was much easier, I can tell you that," coach Pat Casey said after the brackets were revealed.
It was already announced Sunday night that the Beavers would host, and on Monday morning they learned their seeding and regional opponents. Oregon State will host fourth-seeded Holy Cross at Goss Stadium on Friday night, following a game between No. 2 Nebraska and No. 3 Yale.
"All the returners wanted to guarantee that wasn't gonna happen again," sophomore pitcher Drew Rasmussen said about the team's resolve following the snub. "At practice and in the weight room and in the classroom, everywhere we pushed a little bit more, a little bit harder every single day to insure that we wouldn't have that same feeling again."
It's been a record-setting season for the Beavers, who are 49-4 and ranked No. 1 in the nation. Oregon State has the fewest losses since Texas went to the postseason at 53-4 in 1982, according to Associated Press and NCAA research.
Oregon State went 27-3 in Pac-12 play, surpassing Arizona State's record of 26 league wins set in 1981. Along the way, Casey surpassed the 1,000 win milestone.
The Beavers are riding a 16-game winning streak into the postseason.
The back-to-back College World Series champions in 2006 and 2007 have made the postseason 17 times with a 51-33 overall record. It is the sixth time that they will host a regional, and they're 26-6 in postseason play at Goss Stadium.
Oregon State was also the top seed in 2014, but got upset in the Corvallis Regional by UC Irvine.
Nebraska (35-20) fell twice to the Beavers earlier this season in Surprise, Arizona. Ivy League champion Yale is 32-16, while Holy Cross (23-7) won the Patriot League tournament.
"We've just got to get ourselves prepared to play. We have to understand that, yes, we've accomplished something really special in the regular season," Casey told reporters on Monday. "We've got to kind of quit talking about that and get ready for the next game."