Oregon State at No. 10 Oregon (6:07 PM)
• Date: Tuesday, April 24
• Venue: PK Park
• TV: Comcast SportsNet Northwest (Andy McNamara & Terry Jonz)
• Radio: KUJZ 95.3 FM in Eugene/Springfield; Jerry Allen
The 10th-ranked Ducks open a four-game week with the first round of the Civil War as Oregon (27-12, 11-7) hosts Oregon State (26-12, 8-7) in a non-conference game at PK Park on Tuesday with first pitch scheduled for 6:07 p.m.
The Ducks and Beavers will play five times in 2012, as UO will host OSU in a non-conference game on May 8 before a ending the season in a three-game Pac-12 series at Oregon State (May 26-27).
The Ducks, currently tied with UCLA for second in the Pac-12 standings, ends the week hosting California at PK Park (Friday-Sunday).
Following Saturday’s spring football game at Autzen Stadium, Oregon will host California at 2 p.m. All fans get $5 general admission to the game. Show your Military ID at the PK Park ticket window for free admission to the game.
Sunday’s series finale with Golden Bears is set for a 12:07 p.m. first pitch, and children ages 12 & under receive free admission by wearing their baseball uniform to PK Park.
After beginning the season unranked, the Ducks (27-12, 11-7) are currently ranked in five national polls, and rest at No. 10 in the Baseball America rankings.
LAST WEEK RECAP
Oregon finished last week with a record of 3-2. The Ducks defeated Arkansas Pine Bluff, 3-2, on Monday and on Wednesday shut out Portland, 3-0, in Keizer, Ore., as freshman lefty Jordan Spencer pitched the first no-hitter for the Ducks since the program was reinstated (2009). The Ducks lost just their second series of the season, dropping the final two games of the Washington State series, after opening the weekend with a 6-2 win on Friday night at PK Park. Aaron Payne led Oregon batting .421 last week, while Kyle Garlick hit his fifth home run of the season and drove in a team-leading six runs. Sophomore Ryon Healy is currently on a 10-game hitting streak, the longest of any Duck this season.
OREGON STATE SERIES
Oregon State leads the all-time series with Oregon, 160-152. For the first time since reinstatement, the Ducks won the season series over the Beavers, 4-1, in 2011, including a conference series sweep to end the regular season at PK Park.
The Beavers start the week after taking two of three from 12th-ranked UCLA at Goss Stadium last weekend, and freshman lefty Jace Fry was named Pac-12 Pitcher of the Week.
The Beavers are batting .279 on the season, but rank second in the league with 254 runs scored,
Freshman Michael Conforto leads OSU and the Pac-12 with 52 RBIs.
In last year’s five-game season series, Oregon outscored Oregon State 22-8 with KC Serna (.444, 5 RBI), J.J. Altobelli (.429) and Aaron Jones (.267, 5 RBI) leading the way.
On the mound, starters Alex Keudell, Tyler Anderson and Christian Jones combined to allow seven earned runs in 33 and 1/3 innings while striking out 27.
Oregon’s 2012 schedule is ranked the eighth strongest in the country according boydsworld.com, while boydsworld.com rates Oregon’s RPI at 22.
Preseason All-Conference Team
UT So. Ryon Healy .320, 4HR
Top 50 Draft Prospects
28. Jr. LHP Christian Jones
(missing 2012 season with injury)
40. So. 1B/RHP Ryon Healy
47. So. RHP Jimmie Sherfy
50. So. C/OF Aaron Jones
Top 100 College Seniors
46. Sr. RHP Alex Keudell
98. RS-Jr. RHP Joey Housey
Top 50 Freshmen
23. Fr. RHP Jake Reed
26. Fr. OF Billy Flamion
FRESHMAN CLASS RANKING
Once again a highly-touted recruiting class joined the Oregon baseball program as the 2011 class received a No. 9 ranking from Baseball America’s annual recruiting evaluations.
For the second year in a row, head coach George Horton brought in a top-10 class, and for the fourth consecutive year, Oregon has recruited a top-25 class.
A NEW LOOK
Oregon enters the 2012 season with 14 newcomers on the roster. From the 2011 squad, the Ducks lost three position starters with shortstop KC Serna, second baseman Danny Pulfer and catcher Jack Marder all departing after being selected in the 2011 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft.
On the mound, Oregon has taken its biggest hit. The Ducks lost 322 and 1/3 innings of pitching, 15 wins and all 17 saves as Tyler Anderson, Madison Boer, Scott McGough and Kellen Moen were lost to the 2011 MLB Draft. Freshman Porter Clayton (0-1, 1 SV) is also missing from the 2012 roster after choosing to depart on a two-year mission.
• On April 18 at Volcanoes Stadium (Keizer, Ore.), freshman Jordan Spencer threw the first no-hitter since the Oregon baseball program was reinstated (2009) in a 3-0 victory over Portland.
• Jimmie Sherfy’s nine saves are a new Oregon single-season record.
• Oregon’s 5-0 series clinching win over Stanford on April 14 marked the 600th Division I career victory for head coach George Horton.
• Oregon’s 21 home runs surpass the club’s total of 19 from 2012.
• With Oregon’s 8-3 win at UCLA (04/06), the Ducks won five consecutive conference games for the first time since May 4-9, 1976.
• Oregon is now 10-3 against ranked opponents in 2012.
• Oregon ‘s sweep of ASU was the first in the series history between the two clubs, and UO’s 1-0 victory on March 31 was the first Oregon shut out of the Sun Devils.
• In Oregon’s 3-1 victory over ASU on March 31, Kyle Garlick became the first UO player since reinstatement (2009) to hit two home runs in one game. Aaron Jones became the second player with two home runs at UCLA last Thursday.
• Oregon 4-3 loss to Utah on March 25 was Oregon’s first defeat when leading after eight innings (11-1) in 2012.
• On March 17, Oregon won its 100th game since the program was reinstated, defeating Washington, 3-2, in 13 innings at Husky Ballpark.
• Oregon’s 8-3 loss at Washington on March 16 snapped Oregon’s seven-game road winning streak - its longest since prior to 1963 (the first season game-by-game results are available).
• Oregon’s 10-game winning streak (Feb. 18-March 4) was its longest since 1969, and Oregon’s 10-1 start was the best for the program since 1965.
• From Feb. 19-23, UO recorded three consecutive wins with double-digit runs for the first time since April 22-24, 1974 in wins over Portland State (10-6), Linfield (16-15) and Washington State (12-1).
• After finishing 2011 with a record of 5-12 in one-run games, the Ducks are currently 9-4 in one-run games and 4-0 in games that are decided in extra innings.
• Oregon trailed Long Beach State 5-0 on March 4, but the Ducks staged a comeback to win 8-7 on Aaron Jones’ walk-off in the bottom of the eighth. It was the Ducks’ first comeback from a five-run deficit since a 17-7 victory over East Tennessee State at PK Park on May 16, 2010.
• On March 10 in Oregon’s 12-0 win over West Virginia, Aaron Jones hit the first Oregon grand slam at PK Park since J.J. Altobelli vs. USC (April 25, 2010).
• Three Oregon pitchers have tossed nine-inning complete-game shutouts in 2012: Brando Tessar’s four-hit, nine-inning complete-game shutout helped UO to a 4-0 win over Connecticut on March 11. Alex Keudell pitched a four-hit shutout as No. 23 Oregon upset No. 14 Arizona State 1-0 on March 31. Jordan Spencer pitched a no-hitter in Oregon’s 3-0 shutout win over Portland on April 18.
THE LAST 12
Since dropping a pair of games at Texas State (March 27-28), the Ducks rebounded to sprout a 12-4 record in their last 16 games.
During that stretch, Oregon’s pitching staff has managed a 2.77 ERA, while Alex Keudell and Jake Reed have combined for a 7-0 record on the mound, allowing just eight earned runs in 60 and 1/3 innings. Closer Jimmie Sherfy has also totaled five saves.
Ryon Healy has driven in 11 runs during that stretch followed by Kyle Garlick (9) and Aaron Jones (9). Also during that stretch, Aaron Payne (.322), Brett Thomas (.316) and Healy (.302) are leading UO at the plate.
The only returner from Oregon’s 2011 starting rotation is senior Alex Keudell.
Keudell was drafted in the 38th round by the Minnesota Twins in the 2011 MLB Draft, but chose to return to Eugene for his senior campaign.
In his last five starts dating back to March 23 vs. Utah, Keudell is 5-0 on the mound with a 0.92 ERA, one complete-game shutout, 23 strikeouts and two Pac-12 Pitcher of the Week awards.
The Portland, Ore., native is 6-3 on the season with a 1.98 ERA (4th Pac-12),
In four seasons with the Ducks, Keudell posts a 18-18 record with a 3.35 ERA. His 18 wins rank third in all-time program history.
NUMBERS ON THE MOUND
Oregon’s 2.99 ERA currently leads the Pac-12 and ranks 14th in the nation. The Duck pitching staff is holding opponents to a .224 clip to lead the Pac-12, while UO’s pitchers have picked off 12 runners to lead the league. Oregon’s 271 strikeouts rank second, but UO has struck out 89 batters looking for tops in the conference.
Oregon’s staff allows just 7.11 hits per nine innings to rank third in the country.
Freshman right-hander Jake Reed ‘s 2.23 ERA ranks ninth in the Pac-12. Reed has recorded nine quality starts as Oregon’s Saturday starter, and sports a 4-2 record with 38 strikeouts. The La Mesa, Calif., native is also holding opposing batters to a .208 clip (4th Pac-12).
The Ducks are 7-3 when Reed takes the mound.
Reed was selected in the 40th round (1,221 overall) of the 2011 MLB Draft by the Chicago White Sox.
Oregon’s trio of sophomore pitchers - Jeff Gold, Brando Tessar and Jimmie Sherfy - each play significant roles in Oregon’s rotation.
Closer Jimmie Sherfy (3-2) has already set a new single-season record with nine saves in 2012.
Brando Tessar is 4-1 in 2012, and currently sports a 3.58 ERA with 37 strikeouts in 50 and 1/3 innings on the mound.
Jeff Gold is 5-3 on the season with a 4.32 ERA, and has moved into the role of UO’s Sunday starter as Tessar battles a muscle strain.
Oregon’s offense is led by the middle of its lineup Aaron Jones, Ryon Healy, Kyle Garlick and Brett Thomas.
Jones (.314), currently out of the lineup and day-to-day with an ankle sprain, is tied for the team lead with 28 RBIs. Jones and Garlick (.324) have each hit five home runs apiece to account for 10 of Oregon’s 21 round-trippers. Garlick and Jones also have driven in the game-winning run on six occasions apiece.
Healy (.299) enters the week on a 10-game hitting streak - the longest of and Duck this season. He also leads UO with 46 hits.
Thomas, currently day-to-day after suffering a concussion on Sunday, is batting .306 on the season with seven doubles, three triples, five stolen bases and 13 RBIs.
THE NEW DUO
Junior J.J. Altobelli made the move from third base to shortstop this season, and his infield mate is sophomore Aaron Payne.
The Duck defense has turned 31 double plays (6th Pac-12), and posts a .978 fielding percentage which leads the Pac-12.
Altobelli is currently day-to-day with a shoulder injury, and senior Kevin Shepherd has taken over while freshman Thomas Walker is at the hot corner.
2011 SEASON RECAP
Oregon finished the 2011 season with a 33-26-1 record and an eighth place finish in the Pac-10 with a mark of 11-16. The Ducks clinched three conference series victories with wins over two Super Regional participants; Stanford and Oregon State as well as regional participant, Arizona.