Spencer is entering his 11th season as an assistant at Oregon State. The
associate head coach and pitching coach of the Beavers, Spencer has been
instrumental in helping the Beavers to back-to-back College World Series
appearances and the 2006 National Championship. He joins
CollegeBaseballInsider.com for the 2007 season.
March 9, 2007
Home Stand - Finally
After being on the road for five straight weeks opening our season, we are
excited about playing at home for the next two weeks. We have been to Hawaii,
Georgia, Arizona, California and Texas. Though we are thankful for the
opportunity to play quality people in good weather, there is no place like home.
I know what it is to be travel weary as a player. I played in the Southwest
Conference at Texas Tech. Back in the good ol’ days, we traveled by bus
everywhere. And I mean everywhere.
Life is good right now. For the next two weeks, we do not have to sleep in
hotel rooms while our players miss school, take proctored tests and study on the
road. We do not have to spend two to five hours in a plane in addition to two
hours each way in a bus. We look forward to the comfort of our own beds.
Competitively, we hope to create a home field advantage at our own park.
Clubs build to their home park. There is a reason Georgia runs six to eight
left-handed hitters at you: The ball jumps to right field. For the same reason,
they have two left-handed starting pitchers to mitigate the effect of the
opposing team’s left-handed hitters.
Arizona State on its fast track and breeze to the right-field wall hits
left-handed and pitches left-handed based on the same logic as Georgia.
When you play Texas A & M at its park, you had better be prepared for them to
play fast on a fast field.
At Goss Stadium in Corvallis, our new field turf will play slower, and
consequently, there will be less ground ball hits. The premium will be on
pitching and defense, the two things we have built our foundation on for the
past few years at Oregon State University.
Unless the west wind is blowing toward the left-field fence, our stadium
tends to play fair. When you come to Oregon State, you can expect a loud
partisan crowd of Beaver lovers wearing a sea of Orange. Beaver Nation is proud.
In our park, the team that wins is generally the one that walks fewer people
and makes the fewest mistakes on defense. Offensively, we try to recruit kids
who can run and have a chance to create runs in the short game. We are
interested in power just like other clubs are, but fly-ball power in Corvallis
is not as effective as it is in other places in the country.
We believe that every recruiting list we put together should be filled with
players who can be successful, playing 25 to 30 games in Goss Stadium. If you
cannot consistently win at home, you will not be playing in June.
Rarely do you see a team that plays poorly at home and so well on the road
that they get to play in the postseason.
Neutral Counts (2/8/07)
Opportunity Knocks (1/2/07)
Recruiting Athletes (11/27/06)
(photo courtesy of Oregon State Media Relations Office)