Editor's note - Oregon State associate head coach/pitching coach Dan
Spencer contributed a journal to CollegeBaseballInsider.com during the 2007
season. He took time away from the Beavers' on-field celebration to talk with
CBI Co-Founder Sean Ryan.
CBI - You guys weren't supposed to do it again. And a new cast, but some
good leadership along the way. You guys seemed to know something that everyone
Dan Spencer - Well, tremendous leadership from Mitch Canham and Darwin
Barney. Tremendous. We needed them both. Without either one of them, we're in
trouble. And the guys on the mound jumped it up a notch in the postseason. They
went from being good to being great, and they maintained it. We got it out of
more than three or four guys. We got it out of six or seven guys.
CBI - You have a lot of guys like Joe Paterson, for instance, who threw 30
innings last year and he piled on 120 this year, and other guys stepped it up...
Dan Spencer - You would like to say it's development. But guys make
jumps...Mike was our one guy who could go out there and give us 110 pitches
regularly, Jorge will be like that. But we had a lot of 65-, 70-pitch
guys, guys who were pretty good in different roles. Turpen could swing from a
starter to a bullpen guy. Paterson obviously can pitch in both roles. We win
this thing and our closer gets one out.
CBI - What changed for you guys?
Dan Spencer - I think when we finally got to UCLA, we knew that we didn't
have any more rope. We were done, we couldn't lose another series. I think the
freedom of knowing that, the freedom of hey, you're not the defending champions,
now you're a bunch of scrappers trying to get in. It really freed them up. We
went out and had a big first night, and it carried over to the second day and we
got the series win. I think there was a massive sense of relief when we got in.
No pressure to go to Virginia. There was no pressure, it was just relief that we
were in and that we would get to go defend that thing on the field.
- You did have a few breaks along the way, a rainout in
Charlottesville, and maybe a break by Vanderbilt losing?
Dan Spencer - I think no doubt about that's a break not having to go to
Vanderbilt and win twice in their yard. (CBI - and another rain date at home.)
No doubt about it. We got another day with the arms. We ran everybody long and
hard in Charlottesville. You don't win the national championship without getting
a break or two. You just don't. You surely don't do it two years in a row.
You've got to be good, but you got to have some luck. If you had to pick them,
you'd rather be lucky than good. We are, we are both.