Gaviglio leads way for surprising OSU

Oregon State pitcher Sam Gaviglio has completely shut out his opponents so far this year. Courtesy photo: Ethan Erickson

It is a Tuesday night, so it's not his night to get the ball, but a half-hour after his Oregon State teammates have taken care of the rival Oregon Ducks, Sam Gaviglio has his right arm packed in ice and his mind on his next outing. The junior gets the ball on Friday nights for the Beavers, but Tuesday night ice is part of a routine he's not about to change.

And why would he? Gaviglio is now five starts into the season and has yet to surrender an earned run. In fact, after he allowed two unearned runs in the first inning of his first start of the season, no one has crossed the plate against Gaviglio. He's now nine innings away from tying Tennessee's Todd Helton (yes, that Todd Helton) for the most consecutive scoreless innings by a Division I pitcher.

Gaviglio is the only pitcher in the nation with as many innings (38 2/3) who has not yet been nicked for an earned run, and he is coming off his best performance to date. An Ashland, Ore., native and one of only 10 native Oregonians on the Beavers' roster, he is a big reason why the Beavers have jumped 38 spots -- from No. 59 to No. 21 -- from preseason to now in College Splits' power rankings, and are suddenly looking like big-time Pac-10 contenders. Any buzz about coach Pat Casey potentially losing his magic touch after winning back-to-back College World Series titles in 2006 and 2007 has been quieted for now. Especially on Friday nights.

"I saw as a freshman that I wanted to be the Friday night guy," Gaviglio says. "A big part of it is the buildup around the start of a new series and wanting to set the right tone."