Originally Posted by George Anderson
I love watching College Baseball but I am far from a expert on it. Does anyone have any insight as to why Oregon State has suddenly become a powerhouse?? I understand that the USC's, Florida State, Texas, Miami etc all have had success in large part to their geographical location, so how does a team as far north as Oregon State all of a sudden become a powerhouse in the world of College Baseball?? Are the good high school players in the sunshine states suddenly looking to Oregon to play at the collegiate level??
I'll take that question.
As a parent who's kids are 18 and 21, and who was invloved in Little League organizations in both Washington and Oregon before they were born, I watched the growth of these players throughout their lives.
For over 20 years now, NW baseball for child development has been nothing short of outstanding. The involvement and support that parents NW-wide have given to the kids provided an atmosphere that fostered a positive experience for all the kids. People like Curt Daniels (now passed away and a former scout for the Cardinals) coashed teams to National Championships at the Legion level. What really distinguished the NW from other areas was the community support for the kids. Many people adjusted their work schedules so they could attend practices and help the coaches do the little stuff.
When you looked at the big picture, you could see throughout the 90's that the NW was producing a high-quality baseball product. Three years ago, when OSU when to their first of 3 straight WS appearances, and were predicted to finish in the bottom half of the Pac-10 that year, I told as many people as I could before the season that there was some outstaning pitching on the team and to look for them to make the playoffs this year. I didn't know they'd win the Pac-10 and reach the World Series, but I knew the great defense and great pitching was there and would be there for many years. Pat Casey didn't teach these kids how to play defense and pitch. They learned it from the coaches and parents from around the NW when theses kids were growing up.
When I grew up playing baseball in the NW, there was never a parent at a practice and everything was left for the coaches. There's so much more room for growth when there are more parents involved in the practices, as long as you remember that you're there to support the coaches and they remember that they are there to support the kids.
It was fun watching the growth of these kids during the 90's as they got better and better. I've seen the opposite where parents are arguing with the coaches or arguing with the umpire, who's there as a volunteer. You'd always get one or two overzealous coaches that as parents, you need to step forward and remind them that it's about the kids. Normally, a coach like that doesn't like to listen to any criticism, and you'd have to go to the league board to get them to talk to the coach, but to do nothing and let it pass would hurt the kids.
And this atmosphere has gone to both the boys and girls, as the girls have been in many Little League Championship Finals and Finals at other levels, too.
It's always been hard to play College Baseball up here because of the rain. Teams would get in about a month less baseball than other schools would.
FWIW, the Beavers started out the season 23-3 and were ranked #2 in the nation, but with a new team having been put together, they were due to have a slump. It's no surprise that 3 of 4 Pac-10 teams won their regionals and 2 of those 3 went to the World Series. It would have been better if Arizona State had been put in the other bracket as they might have met the Beavers in the Finals.
Oregon State dominated this tournament. They trailed in only 1/2 of an inning of their last 70 innings. As the competition got tougher, they only got more dominating winning their last four games by at least 6 runs each, becoming the first team in the CWS to ever win 4 games in a row by at least 6 runs.
I was hoping the Beavers would grab the catcher Mitch Canham. They would have had to take him with their Supplemental pick, too highly projected for Canham as he went about 19 picks later, but close enough. Canham will be ready for the Majors in 3 years, where the Puxty-dude has more potential, but is at least 5 years away.