Ducks visit Oregon State on Tuesday before traveling to Cal for a three-game weekend series: Oregon opens a busy week with a mid-week game at No. 6 Oregon State on Tuesday at 4 p.m. in the first of five meetings between the Ducks and Beavers this season. Tuesday’s game is the first of two non-conference games between the two clubs that will be played in Corvallis (the second is on Tuesday, May 21). Oregon will host OSU in a three-game league series May 17-19 at PK Park. The two teams have met 21 times since Oregon reinstated baseball before the 2009 season. OSU holds a 14-7 series lead in those games, but the two teams have split the 10 games played over the last two seasons with both teams going 4-1 at home.
After visiting Corvallis, the Ducks will head to the Bay Area where they will play a three-game series at California starting on Friday at 6 p.m. Oregon and Cal has split the six games played between the two teams since 2009 with the Ducks sweeping last season’s three-game series in Eugene (4-1, 3-2, and 7-1). The Bears won two of three games between the two teams in 2009, 2010, and 2011.
Ducks in midst of eight-game road swing at No. 24 Arizona State: Oregon opened an eight-game road swing last weekend in Tempe where the Ducks dropped two of three against Arizona State. Oregon plays four more games on the road this week with one at Oregon State on Tuesday and three at California this weekend, before wrapping up the stretch with a game at Portland a week from Tuesday. Oregon is 8-5 on the road before heading to Corvallis.
Oregon’s offense produces at Arizona State but pitching has a rare off weekend: The Ducks, who headed to Arizona State batting .249 as a team, had a big offensive weekend in Tempe despite losing two of three. Oregon hit .357 as a team with 45 hits, eight doubles, a triple and a home run. UO raised its team batting average by .014 to .263 against the Sun Devils. Eighth different Ducks batted over .300 in the series with seven of those having at least eight at bats. Freshman Mitchell Tolman led the attack going 7-for-14 at the plate with a double, a triple, two RBI and two runs scored. He had a team-best .714 slugging percentage and raised his batting average from .325 to .370. Aaron Payne also batted .500 going 4-for-8 at the plate, but his .733 on-base percentage during the weekend with five walks and two hit by pitches helped him raise his OBP from .330 to .379, while his batting average climbed from .205 to .229. Ryon Healy boosted his batting average from .345 to .357 going 7-for-16 with seven runs scored. Scott Heineman (.385), J.J. Altobelli (.333), Shaun Chase (.333), Tyler Baumgartner (.313) and Steven Packard (.300) all hit at least .300.
Heineman has career game in win over ASU: A number of Ducks had a big game in Oregon’s 16-3 win over ASU on Sunday, but for Scott Heineman it might have been the best game of his two-year career. The Ducks’ outfielder went 4-for-6 with three RBI, two stolen bases and a run scored. Heineman set new career bests during the game in hits, RBI and stolen bases. In all, 11 new career highs were set by Oregon batters or base runners in the win over the Sun Devils.
Sherfy, Healy, Payne and Irvin lead Ducks among national leaders with top 20 rankings; Oregon leads nation in fielding percentage: Jimmie Sherfy, Ryon Healy, Aaron Payne and Cole Irvin all rank among the top 20 in one category in the national ranking. Sherfy ranks ninth in the nation in saves with eight, four behind national leader Tyler Rogers of Austin Peay. Irvin is 13th in wins with 6 and trails the national co-leaders who have eight wins. Healy is 14th in doubles with 13, five behind Delaware’s Jimmy Yizzo. Payne is 18th in sacrifice bunts with nine, behind Arkansas State’s Alex Potts who leads the country with 18. Payne also ranks 27th in sacrifice bunts per game, while Healy is 24th in doubles per game, 35th in total bases and 55th in hits. Irvin is tied with fellow starting pitchers Jake Reed and Tommy Thorpe for 17th in starts with eight, just two behind the co-leaders who have 10.
As a team, Oregon leads the country in fielding percentage at .988, while ranking in the top 60 in a total of 11 categories. The Ducks are ninth in sacrifice bunts (42) to give the team two top-10 rankings. UO also ranks among the national leaders in win-loss percentage (18th; .742), hits allowed per nine innings (35th; 7.85), ERA (37th; 3.02), WHIP (44th; 1.24) stolen bases (47th; 46), and hit by pitch (52nd; 42), doubles (55th; 60) and stolen bases per game (55th; 1.48).