Oregon Begins Hawai'i Series Thursday
Release Date: 02/24/2010
Oregon enters this week after a successful opening weekend in southern California. After finishing a series of four single games, the Ducks departed California with a 3-1 record and a No. 25 ranking from Collegiate Baseball after knocking off then No. 4 Cal State Fullerton, Long Beach State and Loyola Marymount. The Ducks’ solo loss was at Pepperdine.
This is Oregon’s first ranking since the program returned a year ago.
After a 12-3 win at Loyola Marymount on Monday, the Ducks had an early wake-up call Tuesday morning for the team’s flight to Honolulu. On Tuesday, the Ducks toured Pearl Harbor after arriving to Oahu, and on Wednesday took part in a morning practice to prepare for their four-game series with the Rainbows.
Over the radio airwaves, Brian Prawitz will provide the play-by-play on KSCR 1320 AM in the Eugene/Springfield area for all four games this weekend.
The O-Zone will also offer a live audio feed of the radio broadcast for Duck fans out of the broadcast area. For Duck fans in Portland, Thursday’s and Saturday’s game will not be available on radio.
Friday Freedom 970 AM
Sunday THE GAME 95.5
Live stats will be available for all four games this weekend. Find the links at www.GoDucks.com or www.HawaiiAthletics.com.
O-ZONE: ONLINE VIDEO & AUDIO
Baseball can now watch Oregon baseball home games live on the O-Zone at www.GoDucks.com. All home games will offer live video and audio.
A reminder that season tickets and mini plans for the 2010 season remain on sale. Duck fans can purchase tickets online by clicking HERE, over the phone by calling 1-800-WEB-FOOT, or in person at the Casanova Center Ticket Office.
Fans looking forward to the upcoming season will be able to select their seats while placing their orders as PK Park is nearing completion.
Single game tickets also remain available. Tuesday’s opener vs. Washington at 5 p.m., will feature a special Opening Day penant giveaway for fans.
Oregon is 18-14 on opening day since 1963. The Ducks, who played their first season in 2009 since the program was disbanded in 1981, won last year’s opener on the road at Saint Mary’s, 5-3.
• Oregon welcomes back five position starters from the 2009 squad; Curtis Raulinaitis, Danny Pulfer, KC Serna, Mitch Karraker and Jett Hart.
• The Duck pitching staff has 11 returners, including sophomore left-hander Tyler Anderson, who is expected to get the start the series on Thursday night.
• Oregon also welcomes 11 newcomers to the roster; eight freshmen and three juniors.
Hawai’i has back-to-back four-game series with universities from the state of Oregon. The Rainbows finished 1-3 last weekend against the No. 25 Oregon State Beavers.
Hawai’i is hitting .219, as All-American Kolten Wong is batting .333 with two doubles and two RBIs.
The Rainbows’ solo victory in the series was a 5-4 come-from-behind effort on Sunday. Hawai’i scored two runs in the bottom of the ninth off OSU reliever Kevin Rhoderick.
Right-hander Josh Slaats held OSU to two unearned runs in a six-inning start, while Alex Capaul came in to pitch the final three innings in the win.
• Oregon opens 2010 on an eight-game road trip to southern California and Hawaii.
“We will know a lot about ourselves when we get back from this road trip,” head coach George Horton said. It serves its purpose in that it’s a good way to start the season – to reevaluate roles, see what we need to improve on and see what we are good at. You certainly want to be successful in preseason games, but you want to have a legitimate test. Make no mistake about it, we’ll no if we are any good after the first eight games.”
• The Ducks will play 12 of their first 14 games on the road. UO hosts Washington for two non-conference games, Tuesday-Wednesday, March 2-3, to open PK Park.
• Six opponents (CSF, USD, STAN, OSU, UCLA, ASU) on Oregon’s 2010 schedule are currently ranked in at least one preseason national poll.
• Oregon’s longest home stretch of the season is nine games from Friday, March 12-Tuesday, March 23 as Seattle, Nevada and Southern Utah travel to Eugene.
• Believe it or not, UO’s eight-game road trip to start the season is one of two on the year. Oregon will play eight-straight road games from Friday, April 9-Wednesday, April 21, traveling to Stanford, UCLA and Gonzaga.
• After Oregon’s April 18 game at UCLA, the Ducks will play in the Northwest the remainder of the season playing 15 contests at PK park while traveling to Gonzaga, Oregon State, Portland and Washington.
ANDERSON IN SEASON OPENER
Sophomore Tyler Anderson is now 2-0 in season openers during his career at Oregon.
The Las Vegas native went into hostile territory last Friday night at Goodwin Field, and threw 5 and 2/3 innings against then No. 4 Cal State Fullerton. Anderson allowed three runs on four hits while striking out three on his way to his first win of the year as the Ducks upset the Titans, 7-3.
Last year on Feb. 20 in the season opener at Saint Mary’s, Anderson tossed 5 and 2/3 innings to earn his first collegiate win, holding the Gaels to three runs (two earned) in the Ducks 5-3 victory.
SERNA’ S SWING
Oregon sophomore shortstop KC Serna has started the season on a mission. Serna is on a four-game hitting streak batting .421 with five RBIs, three doubles, one triple and four runs scored.
The Ventura, Calif., native is second on the squad with a .684 slugging percentage and also has snagged one bag so far.
Serna’s infield mate, second baseman Danny Pulfer has also gotten off to a frantic start.
The Cypress, Calif., native is hitting .412 with a team-leading six RBIs, as well as two doubles. For his effort in the Ducks’ opening four games, Pulfer was named a Co-Primetime Players of the Week by College Baseball 360.
Pulfer led the way for Oregon with a 3-for-5 day, four RBIs and three runs scored in the Ducks’ 12-3 win over Loyola Marymount on Monday.
In the seventh, Pulfer helped Oregon take a 7-3 lead when he stepped up to the plate with two outs and two runners on, and sliced a two-run, bases clearing single through the left side.
Sophomore right-hander Scott McGough finished his summer with the Rochester Honkers of the Northwoods League as the sixth-ranked prospect in the league according to PerfectGame Crosschecker.
It appears that McGough’s success over the summer has followed him to Oregon as the Pittsburgh, Pa., native already has a save - the first of his career - and a win - the second of his career - under his belt.
With the Ducks ahead 4-2 in the sixth and the rain coming down at Cal State Fullerton, McGough came on in relief of starter Tyler Anderson. With two runners on after two Anderson walks, McGough surrendered a pinch-hit single as the Titans scored a run and came within 4-3.
He then retired the next batter, leaving the tying run stranded at second. McGough then waited out a 54-minute rain delay before returning to pitch the final three innings of the game, holding the then No. 4 Titans scoreless. McGough faced 15 batters over the final 3 and 1/3 innings, holding Cal State Fullerton scoreless on three hits and one walk while striking out four.
He then pitched 2 and 1/3 innings on Monday at LMU in relief of starter Zack Thornton. McGough entered the game with the game knotted at 3-3, and over his 2 and 1/3 innings held the Lions scoring on one hit and one walk while facing just nine batters. He exited the game with the Ducks leading 8-3.
For the season, McGough has pitched 5 and 2/3 innings, allowing four hits while striking out four and holding batters to a .190 average.
Oregon head coach George Horton hasn’t been shy about putting his true freshman in the thick of things this season.
Horton has three true freshmen starting regularly on defense with Jack Marder in right field, J.J. Altobelli at third base and Ryan Hambright manning first.
Marder leads the group batting . 357, while Altobelli has been a run producer, batting .313 with five RBIs and one double. He also has six assists from the hot corner.
Hambright is hitting .250, but has been walked a team-leading five times with a .538 on-base percentage. Hambright also made his first appearance on the mound in relief at Pepperdine last Sunday.
The other newcomers in the every-day lineup as well as spot starters include: junior Marcus Piazzisi, who has started all four game sin left field; junior Shawn Peterson, who was 1-for-3 with three RBIs in his first start of the season at first base on Sunday; and freshman Andrew Mendenhall, who has appeared in three game and already has the first stolen base of his career.
On the mound the Ducks also have a new look. Sophomore Tyler Anderson is the only returning starter from last year’s rotation. With seniors Justin LaTempa and Zack Thornton back healthy, they have worked themselves into the mix.
The only freshman in the starting rotation is left-hander Christian Jones. Jones is scheduled to start Saturday’s game against the Rainbows.
In LaTempa’s first start of his career for Oregon, the Huntington Beach, Calif., native was a little erratic, pitching 4 and 2/3 innings and allowing one unearned run on three hits and four walks.
In Thornton’s first start, at Loyola Marymount on Monday, the right-hander allowed three runs on six hits and one walk while striking out two.
HOME RUN HITTERS
Oregon hit just 16 home runs last year, but the Ducks have two in their first four games of 2010.
Sophomore Paul Eshleman was the first to hit a round-tripper, a solo shot at Pepperdine on Sunday. It was the third of Eshleman’s career.
Curtis Raulinaitis hit the second of the season for UO, and the first of his career, to lead off the eighth inning at LMU on Monday.
GAGNIER ON STOPPER OF THE YEAR WATCH LIST
Oregon junior right-hander Drew Gagnier was named to the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association Preseason Stopper of the Year Watch List.
Gagnier is one of 40 collegiate baseball players that have been named to the initial watch list for the sixth annual NCBWA Stopper of the Year Award, given to the top relief pitcher in NCAA Division I baseball.
The Santa Cruz, Calif., native was named Pac-10 Honorable Mention last season, and was drafted in the 14th round of the 2009 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft by the Oakland Athletics, but chose to return to the University of Oregon for 2010.
The Ducks main closer in 2009, Gagnier appeared in 23 games and finished the year with a 2.70 ERA, a 1-0 record and 30 strikeouts in 30 innings pitched. He finished the year with seven saves, tying for sixth in the Pac-10.
Oregon inked 12 players during the early signing period, and each signed a National Letter of Intent to attend the U of O for the 2010-11 academic year. All 12 newcomers are currently in their senior year of high school.
This is Oregon’s third recruiting class since the reinstatement of the UO baseball program, and if history repeats itself, the 2010 graduating class should garner national honors like its predecessors.
Of Oregon’s 12 signees, six rank among the top-200 high school prospects for 2010, including three of the country’s top-50 ranked prospects, according to PerfectGame Crosschecker.
For two consecutive years, Oregon’s recruiting classes have earned top-25 accolades. The Ducks’ 2009 class, brought in for the program’s first season in 28 years, was ranked No. 2 in the nation by Collegiate Baseball’s annual evaluation, and was also ranked 10th in the nation by Baseball America’s evaluation.
The Ducks’ second class received the No. 24 ranking in the nation from Baseball America earlier this fall.
CIVIL WAR CLASSIC
Tickets are also currently on sale for The Civil War Classic presented by RBC Wealth Management. First pitch is set 6:30 p.m. from PGE Park in Portland on Wednesday, May 26.
Tickets, which range in price from $5-$35, are available at www.ticketmaster.com, and all Ticketmaster locations.
Oregon’s newest facility is scheduled to host its first game on Tuesday, March 2 with Washington in town for a non-conference match up. PK Park is designed around a single, open concourse that provides incredible views to the entire playing field.
“We have designed PK Park with all the features and amenities necessary to help the University of Oregon baseball program quickly establish itself as a regular on the ‘Road to Omaha’. The Ducks’ passionate fans will find their new ballpark to be one of the best places in the country to cheer on their favorite team,” said Greg Garlock, Designer and Principal with DLR Group.
PK Park has a total capacity of 4,000, including 3,000 fixed seats, a tiered party plaza named “Fowl Territory”, a picnic plaza and eight upper level suites.
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