ERA: Oregon State: 3.33, Arkansas: 3.55
AVG: Oregon State: .229, Arkansas: .234
K/BB: Arkansas: 2.69, Oregon State: 2.67
These two teams have very similar numbers and pitch in similar ways. Both teams hold teams to low batting averages, and do a good job of getting strikeouts without walking a ton of guys. They will both try to minimize the amount of baserunners you get and both are good at it. Both teams have composed their pitching staffs in similar ways. While it hasn’t been the rotation all year for both teams, they each have three established starters who have come up big for them in the postseason, and three main relievers that they will lean on in this series.
Starters: Blaine Knight (13-0, 2.88 ERA), Kacey Murphy (8-5, 3.15 ERA), Isaiah Campbell (5-6, 4.12 ERA)
Bullpen: Matt Cronin (13 Saves, 3.15 ERA), Jake Reindl (5 Saves, 2.87 ERA), Barrett Loseke (4 Saves, 2.86 ERA)
It doesn’t matter who’s going up against Knight, Arkansas is going to feel confident. I mean just look at this list of guys he’s taken down this year.
Blaine Knight vs your best pitcher— Ryan Folkes (@RyanFolkes) June 25, 2018
❌Adam Hill - 4th round
❌Sean Hjelle - 2nd round
❌Mitchell Kilkenny - 2nd round
❌Ryan Rolison - 1st round
❌Brady Singer - 1st round
❌Jackson Kowar - 1st round
❌Casey Mize - 1st round
Who's next? pic.twitter.com/chNf0NNR8K
The best part is everyone is fresh. That’s the benefit of not having to come through the losers bracket. Knight is actually going to get a couple more days rest than accustomed to. Murphy will go on Tuesday after throwing on Wednesday, a 6-day rest that he’s done before, and Campbell will go on five days rest if the third game is necessary. The bullpen is also in good shape with only Reindl and Cronin throwing on Friday, and neither going over 30 pitches. When it comes to freshness of arms, Arkansas definitely has the advantage.
Starters: Luke Heimlich (16-2, 2.80 ERA), Bryce Fehmel (10-1, 3.16 ERA), Kevin Abel (6-1, 3.28 ERA)
Bullpen: Jake Mulholland (15 Saves, 2.25 ERA), Brandon Eisert (5-3, 2.42 ERA), Christian Chamberlain (19 apps, 4.00 ERA)
Heimlich went for 59 pitches on Wednesday and 63 on the first day of the tournament. That means he’ll likely be called on to go a similar length in game one. Unless of course Pat Casey wants to get creative with Game 1 and have him go in Game 2. If Heimlich does go in the first game that likely means Fehmel (threw 57 pitches on Friday) in Game 2. Kevin Abel did an excellent job to keep the Beavers from needing to go into their bullpen in Saturday’s game against Mississippi State, but he might have sacrificed himself in the process going 95 pitches. He might not be able to go after just three days rest.
Their bullpen has proven in this tournament they can get solid outings with multiple innings. Mulholland had two outings of over 40 pitches in the past week, Eisert threw 72 pitches on Friday, and Chamberlain had 55 on Wednesday. Eisert will probably be an option in Games 2 or 3. Arkansas can expect to see Mulholland and/or Chamberlain in the opener.