No. 5 Oregon at No. 23 Oregon State
• Date: Friday, 5:35 p.m./Saturday, 1:05 p.m./Sunday, 1:05 p.m.
• Venue: Goss Stadium
• TV: KEZI 9.2/ROOT Sports (Saturday only)
Saturday’s game will be broadcast live on KEZI 9.2 (channel 309 digital) in the Corvallis/Eugene region and ROOT Sports in the rest of the Northwest. It can also be seen nationally on FCS channel 415 (Comcast).
• Radio: KUJZ 95.3 FM in Eugene/Springfield
Oregon enters the final weekend in regular season play on a nine-game winning streak. The No. 5 Ducks have played their last eight games at PK Park, but will end the regular season at Goss Stadium - home of No. 23 Oregon State - for a three-game Pac-12 series.
As the final week of the regular season approaches, the race for the Pac-12 title comes down to the final weekend. Arizona is one game back of Oregon as the No. 13 Wildcats host No. 16 Arizona State. If Arizona and Oregon finish with the same conference winning percentage, they’ll be crowned co-champions. The regular season head-to-head tiebreaker only applies to determining the automatic qualifier for the postseason. Stanford, UCLA and Arizona State each trail the Ducks by two games in the standings.
After beginning the season unranked, the Ducks are currently ranked in five national polls, and rest at No. 5 in the Baseball America Top-25 poll.
Winners in 15 of their last 16 games, including nine in a row, the Ducks’ 42 wins are the most in program history heading into the final weekend of regular season play. Last week, Oregon took a weekend off from conference action, and recorded its second straight series sweep, winning three games against Seattle at PK Park. In the series, Aaron Jones led Oregon batting .444, while Kyle Garlick drove in a team-leading three runs. Senior Alex Keudell was once again stellar on the mound, tossing seven and 2/3 shutout innings in Friday night’s 6-1 victory. For Keudell, it was his 10th win of the year setting the new Oregon single-season record. Keudell has also won his last nine starts. In addition, freshman left-hander Tommy Thorpe appeared in all three games, tossing three and 2/3 shutout innings while striking out eight and recording one win and one save.
Oregon currently ranks fifth in the NCAA RPI ratings. In addition, Oregon’s 2012 schedule is ranked the third strongest in the country according boydsworld.com, while boydsworld.com rates Oregon’s RPI at five.
OREGON STATE SERIES
No. 23 Oregon State leads the all-time series over the Ducks, 161-153. Since the UO baseball program was reinstated for the 2009 season, OSU has prevailed in 11 of 18 meetings.
In seven trips to Goss Stadium since 2009, the Ducks have only left Corvallis with a win on one occasion, defeating the Beavers 7-2, on May 3, 2011.
This season in two games at PK Park, the Ducks and Beavers have each recorded a win. During the last two seasons, each club has swept the conference series on their respective home field. In 2010, OSU swept Oregon at Goss, while in 2011, the Ducks ended their season by sweeping the Beavers at PK Park.
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 entered 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 took 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.
• Oregon’s 42 wins in 2012 is a program best.
• Oregon’s 19 conference wins are the most in program history.
• After finishing 2011 with a record of 5-12 in one-run games, the Ducks are currently 16-4 in one-run games and 4-0 in games that are decided in extra innings.
• Oregon is 13-4 against ranked opponents in 2012.
• Alex Keudell’s 10 wins in 2012 set a new UO single-season record.
• Oregon’s 27 home runs surpass the club’s total of 19 from 2012.
• Jimmie Sherfy’s 17 saves are a new Oregon single-season record.
• On April 28, Oregon baseball set a new PK Park attendance record with a crowd of 3,892 as UO defeated Cal 3-2.
• 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.
• Oregon’s 5-0 series-clinching win over Stanford on April 14 marked the 600th Division I career victory for head coach George Horton.
• With Oregon’s 8-3 win at UCLA (April 16), the Ducks won five consecutive conference games for the first time since May 4-9, 1976.
• 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 on April 5.
• 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.
• 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 ninth. 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.
Oregon ended a three-game losing streak by winning 15 of its last 16 games as the Ducks enter the weekend on a nine-game winning streak.
During that stretch, Oregon is batting .279 led by sophomore Aaron Payne’s .357 clip and 15 RBIs. In addition, Ryon Healy (.333) and Brett Thomas (.315) are batting over .300, while Kyle Garlick (12) and Aaron Jones (9) have combined to drive in 21 runs.
UO’s pitching staff is managing a 2.89 ERA in 2012, but in Oregon’s last 16 games that number is 2.39. In 16 starts, the starters are 12-1, while UO’s bullpen has earned an additional three wins while also backed with eight saves by UO closer Jimmie Sherfy.
VS. THE TOP-25
Oregon is currently 13-4 against teams ranked in the top-25 at the time of the contest. In those games, the Ducks have scored 4.5 runs per game, while allowing 3.1 runs per game. The Ducks have totaled 36 extra-base hits in top-25 games led by Aaron Payne (.323) and Brett Thomas (.321). Aaron Jones has driven in 15 runs.
Oregon’s defense has a .982 fielding percentage against top-25 competition, while the pitching staff manages a 2.80 ERA.
Oregon holds a 10-4 record against teams currently ranked in the Baseball America top-25, including series wins over No. 9 UCLA, No. 13 Arizona, No. 14 Stanford and No. 16 Arizona State. In those games, Oregon’s pitching staff has held opponents to 3.2 earned runs per game. Brett Hambright leads Oregon batting .304 in those 14 games, while the trio of Aaron Jones (10), Aaron Payne (9) and Ryon Healy (8) have driven in 27 runs.
Oregon has driven in 233 runs this season, and out of those 233 RBIs, 96 have come with two outs. Oregon sophomore Kyle Garlick leads the Ducks with 18 two-out RBIs followed by Aaron Payne (14), Ryon Healy (14) and Aaron Jones (13).
Last Friday, Alex Keudell set the Oregon single-season record earning his 10th victory of the year as the Ducks shut out Seattle, 6-0, at PK Park. Keudell is now tied with Dean Kegler (1978-81) with 22 career wins.
Keudell has won his last nine starts, and during that stretch is 9-0 with a 1.14 ERA allowing just nine runs in 71 and 1/3 innings.
The Friday-night starter for Oregon, Keudell’s 1.80 ERA leads the league, and his 10 wins ties for second. In conference games only, Keudell leads all pitchers with an 8-1 record and 1.66 ERA.
Against top-25 competition this season, Keudell is an undefeated 5-0 with an ERA of 0.88 after allowing just four earned runs in 41 innings on the mound. Against ranked opponents he has tossed two complete games including one shutout while holding opposing batters to a .200 clip.
The Portland, native was named Pac-12 Pitcher of the Week in back-to-back weekends after tossing seven shutout innings at UCLA, scattering eight hits while striking out two in a 6-2 win on April 5. The following weekend, he allowed just one run on five hits while walking no one and striking out a season-best seven in a 4-2 win at No. 6 Stanford on April 13.
IN THE NCAA
Oregon’s 2.89 ERA currently leads the Pac-12 and ranks 10th in the nation. The Duck pitching staff is holding opponents to a .225 clip to lead the Pac-12, while UO’s pitchers have picked off 15 runners to lead the league.
Oregon’s staff allows just 7.21 hits per nine innings to rank second in the country. The Ducks’ 381 strikeouts also top the Pac-12.
UO’s .979 fielding percentage leads the Pac-12 and ranks eighth in the country.
Sophomore right-hander Jimmie Sherfy has accepted an invitation to play for the 2012 Collegiate National Team this summer it was announced last Friday.
Oregon’s closer, Sherfy currently leads the Pac-12 with 17 saves which sets a new single-season record for the Ducks. In 53 innings on the mound, the Camarillo, Calif., native leads Oregon with 84 strikeouts – an average of 14.3 strikeouts every nine innings pitched.
In 29 appearances, Sherfy has inherited 24 runners, allowing just four to score. In addition to his 17 saves, the Camarillo, Calif., native has a 4-2 record and a 2.21 ERA while holding opposing batters to a .169 clip.
During Oregon’s current nine-game winning streak, Sherfy is 1-0 with five saves.