Superstitions and baseball often go hand in hand.
Some players make sure to step — or not step — on the foul line; talking about a no-hitter during a game is a no-no; a goat has kept the Cubs out of the World Series since 1945; and many players would rather break a mirror while walking under a ladder than put on their left sock first.
Some players at Oregon State have their own ritual of good luck — an epic battle of strategy and craftiness that unfolds before every game.
It's a fervid match of the board game Settlers of Catan.
Pitcher Scott Schultz said the Beavers started the game day tradition in late March during a series at San Diego. It stuck for the rest of the season.
“We just played it before the game, and it turned into a superstitious thing,” Schultz said. “We gotta get a game in before every one.”
Called “the great board game of this era” by the Washington Post, Settlers of Catan players manage resources and build settlements on a newly founded island: Catan.
The Beaver competitors include Schultz, Tyler Smith, Michael Conforto, Cole Brocker, Kavin Keyes, trainer Josh Therrien and the original settler himself, Ryan Barnes, who started the routine.
“Josh and I call ourselves the piranhas because we're the two better ones,” Barnes said.