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Baseball opens series with Cal

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FYI: This will serve as your game thread tonight if you want one.

Time (PDT) WSU Starter Cal Starter GameTracker
SATURDAY 5:30 p.m. RH Chad Arnold (4-2, 2.99 ERA, 1.221 WHIP, 58 K, 75 1/3 IP) RH Erik Johnson (6-2, 3.07 ERA, 1.500 WHIP, 60 K, 58 2/3 IP) Here
SUNDAY Noon LH David Stilley (2-2, 6.26 ERA, 1.739 WHIP, 8 K, 23 IP) Dustin Jones (9-3, 3.36 ERA, 1.229 WHIP, 66 K, 83 IP) Here
MONDAY Noon TBA RH Dixon Anderson (4-1, 4.03 ERA, 1.409 WHIP, 36 K, 60 1/3 IP) Here

I'm no baseball bracketologist -- heck, I'm not even a basketball bracketologist and I actually follow that sport closely -- but it seems to me that with four Pac-10 series left, if the Cougs want to have a chance to return to the postseason, they need to win at least three of them. And probably all four.

That's tough, because in those final four series, WSU faces second place Cal -- starting tonight -- and has to end the season traveling to Los Angeles to face a UCLA team that was ranked as high as No. 2 earlier this season.

Other than the come-from-behind win behind Chad Arnold and our two best bullpen arms, Paris Shewey and Adam Conley -- last weekend was a mess. The starting pitching was more or less terrible in the second and third game, and the offense was even worse.

The good news, of course, is that WSU is back in the friendly confines of Bailey-Brayton Field, where the Cougs are 13-5. 

Cal's lineup is pretty fierce -- not as fierce from top to bottom as ASU's, but still very good -- and if you're looking for one guy to avoid getting beat by, it might be Chadd Krist. He has the most extra base hits on the Bears and leads the team in OPS.

As usual, getting the first game tonight would be huge. It seems to be even bigger because WSU has a decided advantage tonight on the hill, as Cal's best pitcher doesn't go until tomorrow. One has to wonder if Arnold can keep bringing it every night, however.