CORVALLIS, Ore. (KOIN) — The Beavers baseball team has been on a steady rise this season. One of the players who has also been on a steady rise is Westview alum and OSU sophomore Mason Guerra.

“As a kid growing up, I’ve always been a Beaver fan, so, I mean, being able to play for the Beavers now and getting an opportunity, it’s been real special for me,” Guerra reflected.

It’s also an opportunity he fought for.

He began the season outside of the starting lineup. He’s now firmly in it and batting over .300.

“When the season starts and you’re not in the first day starting lineup, you can take it a couple different ways,” said OSU head coach Mitch Canham. “Mason took it as, ‘No, I’m going to do something about this. I belong in the lineup. I’m going to make it happen.’”

He hasn’t just made it happen. Guerra is now batting in the number four spot — aka, the cleanup hitter.

“That’s a big spot in the lineup to be playing. We’ve all known that he’s got the athletic talent to be in that spot. Now, as the mentality has continued to grow, he’s embraced it, and I still think the best version of himself is yet to come,” said Canham.

This version is pretty decent.

He’s tied for first on the team in both RBI with 52 and home runs with 10.

One of the things that contributed to those numbers was a stretch at the end of April into May where he had 13 RBIs over 6 games, including 4 home runs.

“It was a lot of fun,” Guerra said of that run. “Just being unconscious almost in the box. Going up there and everything’s in slow motion and having all the confidence that you’re going to get a hit or hit a ball hard. It was a lot of fun.”

“When a guy hits the ball 115 miles an hour into the gap or over the fence, that builds confidence. The next guy in line is like, ‘Yeah, I’m gonna go do that too,’” said Canham of Guerra’s effect on the team. “You just see intent. It’s a follow-the-leader type of thing.”

And that leader is not shying away from the biggest goal of all.

“There’s a lot of national champions around the program that stay in touch with the program, so being able to bring one back myself and with this group of guys, it would mean everything to us,” said Guerra.