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After a month on the road, the University of Utah baseball team will welcome Oregon State at Salt Lake City's newly christened Smith's Ballpark (formerly SpringMobile).

The three-game series begins Friday night at 6 p.m., with the 8-7 Utes opening Pac-12 play against the 15-3 Beavers,ranked fourth by the National Baseball Writers Association poll.

"Every team in the Pac-12 is good, and Oregon State is exceptional," said Utah head coach Bill Kinneberg in a news release. "They got most of their team back from the World Series team last year. They have very talented pitching and some very talented hitters as well. This will be a great challenge for us and a great opportunity for us."

The injury bug has hit the Utes, with Tyler Yagi, Dallas Carroll, A.J. Young and Braden Anderson all missing time. But the Utes went 3-1 last weekend at UT Arlington, recovering from a 20-3 shellacking from BYU in Provo.

The two teams also play Saturday and Sunday, with both games beginning at 1 p.m. The first 1,000 fans Friday will receive a schedule magnet, and former Cottonwood High, U. and Major League Baseball slugger Chris Shelton will throw out the first pitch. All season long, fans wearing black to Friday games will receive free admission.

— Matthew Piper

Twitter: @matthew_piper

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