Innings with Mike Stutes
By Phil Stanton
Mike Stutes is a senior right-hander for two-time
defending national champion Oregon State. A preseason
All-American, Stutes posted a 12-4 record for the Beavers in
2007 with 129 strikeouts in 132.2 innings. He started nearly
one-third of OSU’s games a season ago, 22 of 67. Stutes recorded
victories over Arizona State and North Carolina in the College
World Series, including the title-clincher over the Tar Heels.
He was drafted by the St. Louis Cardinals in the ninth round,
but did not sign. Stutes took some time before the Beavers’
season opener with Vanderbilt to talk about himself and the
Oregon State program.
Inning – What did it feel like to win a second national
It feels good. The first one we won, we had all
our guys come back, and so we were expected to be in it and
making a run for it. And then last year at the beginning of the
season, everyone was telling us that we didn't have a chance and
that we had lost too many guys and that we'd lost our big
players. It was pretty rewarding to win when people didn't think
Second Inning – Last June, did you think you
would be back at OSU this spring?
No, I thought there was no chance. I was planning
on signing, but then over the course of the summer I realized
this is what I wanted to do and that I wanted to come back for
one more year.
Third Inning – How difficult was it not to
sign a professional contract?
It was really tough, because that is my goal and
that is what I want to do. It was my second time being drafted
and it was hard to turn it down again. It's kind of a big risk
because I really don't have any leverage in the draft this year.
It was tough on all different levels, but I think it was the
Fourth Inning – Do you feel that the
Beavers have carried the banner the past two years for West
Yeah. I guess so. I mean we've won the last
couple years. I mean we're kind of looked at as the premier team
in the northwest. I don't know about the whole West Coast. There
are some programs with some pretty strict traditions like Cal
State Fullerton and UCLA, USC, Arizona State. They have been
good for the past 20 or 30 years, not the last two or three. So
I think we have some ways to go, but as for the last couple
years, I think we're right up there.
Fifth Inning – How do you see the Pac-10 race
shaping up this season?
I think it is going to be the best season the
Pac-10 has ever had. I was looking in the polls and I think
three different polls have a Pac-10 team as Number 1 overall. So
it's going to be a deep league and it is going to be a battle
every weekend. No easy weekends in the Pac-10.
Sixth Inning – What are your personal goals
for the 2008 season?
Personal goals are just to improve on
last season. I feel like I have gotten better since I've come
here and I'd like to keep moving in the same direction. I’d like
to keep improving my game and by the end of the season hopefully
we’ll be as successful as the last two.
Seventh Inning Stretch
Eighth Inning – What is your opinion on the
uniform start date for Division I baseball?
It has a possibility of helping schools in the
North that can't play home games in the beginning of the season,
but I think that all in all it is actually hurting the
student-athletes because we have to miss almost three months of
school. If they would just extend it back out a month earlier we
could just travel on the weekends and go to school during the
week. Instead we're playing Monday, Tuesday or Tuesday,
Wednesday. The season becomes very compact.
Ninth Inning – What is your favorite
I think I'd have to say Major League. It's a