Oregon State’s No. 1-ranked baseball team worked out Tuesday in Corvallis, preparing for its Thursday trip to Omaha, Nebraska, and a date with Cal State Fullerton in the College World Series — likely without pitcher Luke Heimlich.
The Beavers and Titans will open the double-elimination tournament at noon PT Saturday at TD Ameritrade Park Omaha.
OSU dispatched of Vanderbilt in two games in last week’s Super Regional at Goss Stadium, despite issues involving Heimlich.The junior left-hander from Puyallap, Washington, hasn’t played for the 54-4 Pac-12 champions since an OregonLive report last week revealed he had been convicted of sexual abuse of a minor girl as a 15-year-old in 2011.
The university issued a statement from Heimlich before Friday’s series opener against Vanderbilt. In it, Heimlich said he asked to be excused from playing “at this time.”
Will Heimlich be available to play with Oregon State’s team at the College World Series? Will he accompany the team to Omaha?OSU coach Pat Casey said Monday night that he did not know the answer to those questions. But it seemed highly doubtful that Heimlich would accompany the team and be in uniform as his teammates gun for the national championship.
Casey expressed his feelings to the Portland Tribune about the Heimlich matter and his player.
“I feel horrible about the whole situation,” the OSU coach said. “It’s heartbreaking to me. I feel terrible for everybody involved, particularly the little girl. I would never not have sensitivity to any victims. I want to see people healed over this thing.”
Of Heimlich, a 3.3 student majoring in communications and political science, he said after Friday’s Super Regional win over Vanderbilt: “For every second he has been on this campus, on and off the field, he has been a first-class individual.”
After interviews by the Tribune with several experts in the field of juvenile sex abuse, here is a look at some of the issues relating to Heimlich’s case and others like it:
Read Eggers’ full article online in the Portland Tribune.
Update: Luke Heimlich will not accompany Oregon State to Omaha for the College World Series.