Ducks Headed To No. 22 Stanford
Release Date: 04/07/2010
Oregon remains in Pac-10 competition this week headed out on the road to play No. 22 Stanford at Klein Field at Sunken Diamond in Stanford, Calif.
This marks the second consecutive weekend Oregon will play a top-25 opponent. Currently six Pac-10 Conference teams are ranked in the top-30 of at least one national poll.
This weekend will mark the baseball program’s first trip to Stanford since a 12-0 loss to the Cardinal on March 31, 1981.
Over the radio airwaves, Jerry Allen will provide the play-by-play on THE SCORE 95.3 FM in the Eugene/Springfield area for all three Stanford games this weekend. The broadcasts will also be simulcast via the O-Zone at www.GoDucks.com.
Stanford will also offer a video broadcast of all three games this weekend available at www.gostanford.com.
Live stats will also be made available at www.GoDucks.com.
O-ZONE: ONLINE VIDEO & AUDIO
Baseball fans 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 single-game tickets 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.
• Oregon welcomes back five position starters from the 2009 squad; Curtis Raulinaitis, Danny Pulfer, KC Serna, Mitch Karraker and Jett Hart.
• The Ducks pitching staff has 11 returners, including sophomore left-hander Tyler Anderson, who is expected to get the start the series on Thursday night against Arizona State.
• Oregon also welcomes 11 newcomers to the roster; eight freshmen and three juniors.
• Oregon opened 2010 on an eight-game road trip to southern California and Hawaii, and came back to Eugene with a 4-4 record.
• The Ducks played 12 of their first 14 games on the road, but returned to play nine consecutive home games before opening up Pac-10 play. The Ducks were 9-5 in their first 14 games, and 8-1 during an eight-game homestand.
• Seven opponents (ARIZ, ASU, CAL, CSF, OSU, STAN, UCLA) on Oregon’s 2010 schedule are currently ranked in at least one national poll.
• Oregon’s longest home stretch of the season was nine games from Friday, March 12-Tuesday, March 23 as Seattle, Nevada and Southern Utah traveled to Eugene. The Ducks finished that stretch 8-1.
• 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 game at UCLA on April 18, 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.
Oregon (19-10, 2-4) is still in search of its first Pac-10 series victory. The Ducks have lost their first two series - on the road at Arizona, (2-1), and hosting #1 Arizona State last week, (2-1).
The Ducks are now 2-2 on the year against ranked opponents as a three-game road series at No. 22 Stanford begins at 5:30 p.m. on Friday. The Ducks have won six out of their last 10, as the pitching staff continues to rank near the top of the Pac-10 in several statistical categories.
Oregon is batting .277 on the year led by senior Eddie Rodriguez (.365), and followed by Danny Pulfer (.343) and KC Serna (.343).
On the mound, not one Oregon starter has an ERA above 4.00. Sophomore lefty Tyler Anderson leads the way with a 2.23 ERA, followed by Justin LaTempa (2.70), Alex Keudell (3.45) and Zack Thornton (3.96).
After enjoying playing three of their last four series at PK Park, the Ducks are hitting the road for the first three games of an eight-game road trip.
UO’s time on the road begins Friday, April 9 at Stanford. The Ducks will then play a second Pac-10 series on the road at UCLA beginning on Friday, April 16 before playing two mid-week games at Gonzaga on April 20-21.
Oregon’s eight-game road trip is the program’s second of the year, after beginning the season with eight straight contests away from home.
Stanford (13-10, 3-3) will have already played two mid-week games with California and Saint Mary’s before hosting Oregon for a three-game series beginning on Friday.
The Cardinal have been ranked since the season’s initial preseason poll, and the program is 4-5 against ranked competition this season.
Stanford opened Pac-10 play by taking two of three from USC at home (March 26-28), but lost last week’s series at #2 UCLA, 2-1.
Sophomore right-hander Jordan Pries, expected to start on Saturday, is the current Pac-10 Pitcher of the Week after pitching a complete game in an 8-4 win over the Bruin’s that snapped a 22-game winning streak for UCLA. Pries allowed four runs (three earned) and retired seven consecutive batters on two separate occasions in the win.
Oregon may have lost the series with top-ranked and previously undefeated Arizona State last week, 2-1, but the Ducks competed in all three games.
On Thursday night it was sophomore Tyler Anderson’s crack at the Sun Devils. The lefty pitched the first complete game of his career and held ASU to four hits and one run - a solo homer in the third. The Las Vegas native refused to issue in a walk in the outing while fanning 10 - just one shy of his season high. Unfortunately Oregon’s offense left eight runners stranded as the Ducks, and Anderson, suffered a 1-0 loss.
On Friday - or early Saturday morning - ASU’s undefeated season came to a crashing halt as the Ducks and Sun Devils played a 12-inning marathon through rain, sleet, snow, hail and lightning that ended in favor of Oregon, 6-5, after tremendous relief efforts from Scott McGough and Zack Thornton as well as Marcus Piazzisi’s walk-off RBI single. In Saturday’s rubber game, the Ducks squandered a three-run lead to fall 7-3.
Danny Pulfer led the Ducks batting .500 (6-for-12), while freshman J.J. Altobelli (.385) and Marcus Piazzisi (.385) also had solid offensive effort.
The pitching staff held ASU to a .239 average.
Last year, Oregon lost starting catcher Eddie Rodriguez to a knee injury just a month into the season. The senior spent his summer focusing on rehabilitation and is now leading the Ducks’ offense at the plate.
The Warden, Wash., native is hitting a team-best .365. The Ducks’ clean-up hitter, Rodriguez leads the everyday starters with 24 RBIs, a .469 slugging percentage and .421 on-base percentage.
He has 10 multiple-hit games on the season as well as six multiple-RBI games. In last Friday’s 6-5 upset of No. 1 ASU, Oregon held a slight 4-3 lead heading into the ninth, but that all evaporated in the top of the inning. The Ducks’ upset was temporarily wrenched away as Drew Gagnier came on for the close with a one-run lead. He issued a one-out walk to Drew Maggi and then surrendered a single to Zack MacPhee. Gagnier struck out Kole Calhoun for out number two, but a passed ball on the strikeout allowed Maggi to score, and Rodriguez’s throw to third in an effort to retire MacPhee was high, allowing the go-ahead run to score as ASU took a 5-4 lead.
Redemption came quickly for Rodriguez, who led off the bottom of ninth with a single. Rodriguez moved to second on Andrew Mendenhall’s sacrifice bunt, and freshman Ryan Hambright then hammered a single through the right side that scored Rodriguez as he tapped the plate with two fingers before ASU catcher Austin Barnes was able to put the tag on, sending the game into extra innings.
IN THE MIDDLE
Oregon’s middle infield is made up of sophomore second baseman Danny Pulfer and sophomore shortstop KC Serna. The duo are a big reason the Ducks have turned 22 double plays this year as the defense manages a .963 fielding percentage.
Serna has inserted himself into the leadoff spot of the Ducks’ lineup, and along with Pulfer, is second on the roster batting .343. The Ventura, Calif., native has stolen 10 bases in 13 attempts this year to lead the Ducks, and along with Pulfer, leads the UO with 12 multiple-hit games.
Pulfer, like Serna is hitting .343 on the season, and has 12 multiple-hit games on the year. The Cypress, Calif., native is on a team-leading five-game hitting streak and is excelling in Pac-10 play. In six conference games, Pulfer is batting .417 (10-for-24) with a .583 slugging percentage and .481 on-base percentage.
In 2010, he leads the Ducks with 23 runs scored and eight doubles.
9 FOR TYLER
Last Thursday, Oregon sophomore Tyler Anderson pitched the first complete game of his career. The Las Vegas native held No. 1 Arizona State to one run - a solo round tripper in the third - on four hits. Anderson faced 31 batters and refused to issue a walk while fanning 10 batters - one shy of his season and the most he has totaled against a Pac-10 opponent in his career.
Anderson leads the UO starting staff with a 2.23 ERA (7th Pac-10) in seven starts and 44 and 1/3 innings pitched. He has struck out 46 batters on the year, a mark that ranks seventh in the Pac-10 and 50th nationally. He holds opposing batters to a .202 average, a clip that ranks seventh in the conference.
PIAZZISI HEATING UP THE PAC
On the season, Oregon starting left fielder Marcus Piazzisi is batting .272, but in his last six games against Pac-10 competition, the junior from Placentia, Calif., has led the Ducks at the plate. The lefty is batting .429 (9-for-21) in Pac-10 games, and enters this weekend’s Stanford series on a three-game hitting streak after batting .385 against the Sun Devils.
Piazzisi has a .556 on-base percentage in Pac-10 games and has been walked six times, while totaling three RBIs and two doubles. He was responsible for the walk-off RBI single in the bottom of the 12th that scored J.J. Altobelli in Oregon’s 6-5 win over No. 1 Arizona State on Saturday morning. It was Oregon’s first walk-off hit since John Adamson’s walk-off RBI single that put the Ducks past Oregon State, 3-2, on March 28, 2009 at PGE Park.
In Oregon’s 6-5, 12-inning win over No. 1 Arizona State last Friday, the Ducks used six pitchers on the mound, but it was right-handers Scott McGough and Zack Thornton who produced magical performances. Starter Justin LaTempa went four innings allowing three runs - two earned before McGough was brought on.
The sophomore tossed three and 1/3 scoreless innings against the Sun Devils, surrendering just three hits and one walk while walking five and leaving the game with a 4-3 lead in the eighth. After sending the game into extra innings, Zack Thornton was brought on in frigid temperatures as snow, sleet, hail and rain dropped from the sky. The senior persevered to hold ASU not only scoreless - but hitless - for three innings, while striking out four. Thornton was the pitcher of record when J.J. Altobelli scored the game-winning run, improving to 4-0 on the season.
Thornton has a 3.96 ERA and has fanned 31 in 38 and 2/3 innings on the mound. McGough is 3-0 on the year with two saves and a 2.45 ERA in 25 and 2/3 innings on the mound, while totaling 23 strikeouts.
Oregon head coach George Horton hasn’t been shy about putting his true freshmen in the thick of things this season.
Horton has two true freshmen starting regularly on defense with Jack Marder now playing first base, and J.J. Altobelli at third base. Steven Packard, who hit his first collegiate home run at Arizona on March 26, is also in the mix making starts against right-handers.
Marder, who hit an opposite field three-run homer to help Oregon to a 9-8 victory at Arizona on March 28, is hitting .202 with 16 RBIs and 17 runs scored, while leading the team with three of UO’s 10 round-trippers on the season.
Altobelli has been nothing but consistent at third base. The Newport Beach, Calif., native is hitting .289 (.304 in Pac-10 play) with 17 RBIs, 17 runs scored and five doubles. It was Altobelli who led off the bottom of the 12th with a bunt single, eventually scoring the game-winning run on Marcus Piazzisi’s walk-off RBI single vs. No. 1 Arizona State in Friday’s 6-5 upset.
Packard has made 16 starts in 17 appearances this year, and is batting .292. The right fielder has been walked seven times and has three doubles and one home run as well as three assists from the outfield. Against Pac-10 competition, Packard is batting .417 (5-for-12).
Oregon’s pitching staff has a 2.95 ERA this season, ranking third in the Pac-10 and fourth nationally. The Ducks are led by full-time starters Tyler Anderson, Justin LaTempa and Alex Keudell. Oregon’s 238 strikeouts rank third in the Pac-10 and the Ducks’ 8.6 strikeouts per nine innings rank 25th nationally. The Ducks allow just 8.82 hits per game, a mark that ranks 31st in the country.
Anderson, a lefty and the Friday-night starter, is 4-3 on the season with a 2.23 ERA in seven starts. He has 46 strikeouts (7th Pac-10; 50th nation on the year, and is holding opposing batters to a .202 clip (7th Pac-10).
LaTempa, a senior right-hander, is 2-2 in six starts with a 2.70 ERA and 31 strikeouts. Right-hander Alex Keudell has made six starts this season and leads the staff with 49 strikeouts (6th Pac-10; 40th nation.
Junior Drew Gagnier leads the relief arms with three saves and has made 10 appearances this season pitching a total of 11 innings. The Santa Cruz, Calif., native has a 0.82 ERA, and 10 strikeouts. Sophomore right-hander Scott McGough is 3-0 in with two saves, including retiring the side in order on March 28 to preserve the Ducks’ 9-8 win at Arizona, as well as tossing 3 and 1/3 innings of scoreless baseball in UO’s 6-5 upset of No. 1 ASU last Friday. He has a 2.45 ERA and 23 strikeouts in 25 and 2/3 innings on the mound.
ANDERSON NAMED TO WATCH LIST
Oregon Friday-night starter Tyler Anderson has been named to the College Baseball Foundation’s Pitcher of the Year award watch list, it was announced on March 23.
Anderson is one of 49 pitchers from across the country that was named to Tuesday’s watch list. The Pitcher of the Year Award will be presented in Lubbock, Texas, on July 2 as part of the College Baseball Awards Show.
This is the second year the CBF will present the Pitcher of the Year Award.
Anderson is currently 4-2 on the season with a 2.55 ERA. Anderson leads the Pac-10 having picked off three runners this season, and his 13 strikeouts with batters looking ties for sixth in the conference.
The sophomore lefty endured a stretch of thee straight victories on the mound from March 5-19, in starts against Fresno State, Seattle and Nevada. At one point, the Las Vegas native had tossed 21 scoreless innings for the Ducks.
The Pac-10 leads the country with nine pitchers on the Baseball Foundation’s Pitcher of the Year award watch list.
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 opened to 2,609 fans on March 2 as UO defeated Washington, 6-2. The park has full locker rooms, clubhouses and team amenities, as well as a state-of-the-art video board and a classic inning by inning score board.
The park has specially designed lighting structures. There is a landscaped area for food and hospitality and even a fan interaction area. There is a student seating area to enhance the intimacy for the Oregon baseball team and spectators.
Eugene architect firm Cameron, McCarthy, Gilbert & Scheibe was the lead landscape architectural firm on the first phase of construction. Larry Gilbert is leading the project.
“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.
The field is made of an all-weather base-ball specific FieldTurf, with clay mounds and bullpens. FieldTurf is the leading provider of collegiate baseball synthetic turf. The company has been installing similar products at college ballparks around the country.
2008 – On August 15, 2008 The University of Oregon announced that work has begun on the construction of a new baseball park. PK Park is named after Athletic Director Pat Kilkenny for his leadership, vision, support, and commitment to the University of Oregon. It was projected to cost $15-$18 million.
2009 – Baseball returns to the University of Oregon. In the team’s first game at the park on Feb. 27, the Ducks beat Fresno State, the defending national champions in front of a sellout crowd.
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