Once again, I've become an Oregon State baseball fan now that the NCAA playoffs have begun. I would have started my fandom earlier, but DirecTV still doesn't carry the Pac12 Networks, so I've got no way to watch most the games in the regular season.
Well, I've also become an Oregon baseball fan, since they too are in the playoffs.
And at the moment, faring better than Oregon State -- which lost to LSU today, so that means Oregon State has to beat Sam Houston tonight (score is 3-1 in OSU's favor at the moment), then beat LSU twice tomorrow to make it to the super regionals.
Oregon just has to beat Xavier to be in the super regionals. With the score 10-1 in the 7th inning, things are looking good for Oregon.
But I'm not counting Oregon State out. Back in 2018 OSU lost the first game in the College World Series, which put it in the loser's bracket. But as I wrote about in "Watching the Oregon State baseball team is better than watching a thriller," they won four games in a row to make it into the World Series final.
This year, Oregon State won its first game in the regional series, so all OSU has to do, as noted above, is win three games in a row over about 24 hours to get into a super regional matchup. Tough to accomplish, but not impossible.
I quickly discovered that most of the playoff games featuring Oregon State and Oregon are only being shown on ESPN+. Because I'm not a huge sports fan, most of the sports I want to watch is shown on channels I get on DirecTV, aside from the Pac12 Networks.
Because I wanted to follow Oregon State and Oregon in the baseball playoffs, I finally paid attention to ESPN+, which I always thought was another free channel in the ESPN lineup. Nope. It costs, even if you already have a subscription to ESPN.
I didn't feel like forking over $99 a year just for ESPN+. Then I remembered that we have Disney+ and Hulu subscriptions. Disney owns ESPN and offers a package deal for Disney+, Hulu, and ESPN+.
After a bit of difficulty figuring out how to sign up for that package, I was able to log into my Hulu account and change it to the Disney+, Hulu, and ESPN+ package. I kept our ad-free subscriptions to Disney+ and Hulu. ESPN+ only comes with ads.
It turned out that after our annual subscription to Disney+ was factored in, I'll be paying $9 a month for the package. That's less than what it cost just for ad-free Hulu, so I'm getting ESPN+ for free. Or actually less than free.
Even so, as soon as I started watching the first Oregon State playoff game, Sam Houston scored two runs in the top of the first inning, briefly making me wonder if Oregon State was going to get blown out. Pleasingly, the opposite happened, with Oregon State scoring the next 18 runs, winning 18-2.
Tonight Oregon State is still leading 3-1 in the bottom of the 7th. Hopefully their lead will hold up, as I'd like to see them beat LSU at least once tomorrow. Twice would be amazing.