Playing the Beavers has not exactly been a strong suit for Coach John Savage or the Bruins lately. In the past three seasons, the Beavers have won each weekend series they've had against UCLA, with the Bruins last picking up a series win in 2010. So, even with UCLA at its national championship-caliber best, we still have not found a way to get past the roadblock known as the Oregon State Beavers. Given our inconsistent play all season (23-22-1 overall, 10-11 in Pac-12 play) and our ill-timed luck, this will probably be the year UCLA breaks the trend and picks up the series win. Just don't bet anything big on it. After all, Oregon State isn't the second-ranked team in the nation for no reason - they enter the series at 35-8 overall and 17-4 in Pac-12 play, with a slight lead over the Huskies in the top of the conference.
It's Friday night, which means Savage will send out our usual starter, the right-handed sophomore ace of the staff, James Kaprielian (6-4, 2.43 ERA) who has performed admirably despite getting woeful offensive support for most of the season. Facing Kaprielian will be the Beavers' southpaw senior, Ben Wetzler (8-1, 0.78 ERA), who has been untouchable pretty much all seasons long, which does not bode well for the Bruins' weary bats.
In case you missed it, islandbruin2 put together his usual excellent series preview, which you can check out for more background information on the series against the Beavers, which is really Mission: Impossible for this inconsistent UCLA squad. If that's not enough, you can also check out the official website's series preview here. First pitch is set for 7:30 p.m. PST in Corvallis and since there's few (any?) Bruins in Corvallis, we can fortunately catch the game on the Pac-12 Network, with J.B. Long and J.T. Snow making the call. And if you can't get the Pac-12 Network, then you can listen in live to the audio broadcast, being called by John Ramey. Or if the audio feed isn't your thing, you can track the game live on the official website's Gametracker.
This is your series opener Friday night baseball game thread, so fire away in the comment thread with your comments, takes, or what you're hearing/tracking/watching live from Corvallis as we track this Pac-12 conference weekend series opener.