Oregon State baseball generates more preseason buzz, moves into top 20 in 2 more polls

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The Oregon State baseball team is batting .667 this preseason.

The Beavers collected two more national rankings last week, moving them into the top 25 in four of the six major college baseball polls, as the team inches toward a season-opening matchup in the Sanderson Ford College Baseball Classic.

The National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association slotted the Beavers at No. 18 in its preseason poll, while the USA Today Top 25, voted on by college baseball coaches, debuted the Beavers at No. 20. OSU already had been tabbed No. 11 by Baseball America and No. 18 by D1Baseball.com.

The rankings reinforce the lofty preseason expectations of the team, which were summed up by slugger Jacob Melton late last month: “I think anything short of Omaha is a failure for us,” he said, referring to the site of the College Baseball World Series.

The Beavers return perhaps the best starting pitching in the Pac-12 Conference, anchored by preseason All-American left-hander Cooper Hjerpe, and a strong top-to-bottom lineup featuring Melton, Garret Forrester and Wade Meckler, among others. What’s more, the Beavers have been effusive in their praise for Australian freshman Travis Bazzana, who earned MVP honors in the West Coast League last summer and appears to be a budding star.

Oregon State opens the season Feb. 18 against New Mexico in Surprise, Ariz.

Joe Freeman | jfreeman@oregonian.com | 503-294-5183 | @BlazerFreeman | Subscribe to The Oregonian/OregonLive newsletters and podcasts for the latest news and top stories.





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