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Preseason Accolades Pile Up For Oregon
Courtesy: Eric Evans
EUGENE, Ore – The preseason accolades continue piling up for the Oregon baseball team.
The Ducks are ranked 10th in the USA Today/ESPN Preseason Coaches’ poll, Oregon's second top-10 ranking in a preseason poll. UO also cracked the top-10 in last month’s Collegiate Baseball Top-40 Preseason poll, checking in at No. 9. Oregon also earned a preseason No. 14 ranking in the Baseball America Preseason Top 25 poll released earlier today.
In the USA Today/ESPN Preseason Coaches’ poll, the Ducks earned the second-highest preseason ranking in the Pac-10, behind only No. 1 UCLA. A total of five Pac-10 schools are ranked in the preseason top 25 and three more are receiving votes. Arizona State comes in at No. 12, followed by No. 16 Stanford and No. 25 Arizona. Washington State, Oregon State and California received votes.
In Oregon’s second year back from reinstatement led by head coach George Horton, the Ducks finished the 2010 season with a 40-24 record, tied for fifth in the Pac-10 standings, and finished the year ranked in four out of five national polls.
Now entering their third season in 2011, a whole new host of Ducks will make their mark as the 2010-11 freshman class received two top-five rankings from Baseball America and Collegiate Baseball during the fall.
Oregon returns five Pac-10 all-conference honorees from the 2010 season, including junior left-hander Tyler Anderson, who was named a preseason All-American by three different publications, as well as, right-hander Scott McGough, and infielders J.J. Altobelli, KC Serna and Danny Pulfer.
Oregon improved its record from 14-42 in 2009, to 40-24 in 2010. The 22-game improvement was the second-best recorded in the country since the NCAA began keeping the stat in 1998.
UO finished the 2010 season with a 9-6 record against ranked opponents, and swept three non-conference weekend series. Oregon also finished 3-3 against No. 1 ranked teams, and won five Pac-10 series - including three (#22 Stanford, #1 UCLA and Washington) on the road.
Oregon’s pitching staff, which returns seven student-athletes from last year’s staff, proved to be one of the best in the country during the 2010 season. The Ducks finished the season with 3.29 ERA, which ranked second in the Pac-10 and third in the country.
The Ducks also return 12 position players from last year’s squad, including six starters and welcome 13 newcomers.
Over the summer, Anderson and McGough competed for the 2010 Collegiate National Team, while Serna and sophomore left-hander Christian Jones were named to the Cape Cod All-Star Game.
Similar to last year, Oregon will cross the Pacific Ocean and head to Honolulu for a four-game series with the defending Western Athletic Conference Tournament champion Hawai’i Rainbows from Feb. 18-21 to open the 2011 season.
The Ducks will play their home opener on Friday, Feb. 25 when Saint Mary’s comes to Eugene for a three-game series. Oregon played its first game in 28 years against the Gaels on Feb. 20, 2009, prevailing 5-3 in Moraga, Calif.
Season tickets for the 2011 season are currently on sale now.
USA Today/ESPN Top 25 Preseason Coaches' Poll
8. South Carolina
9. Cal State Fullerton
11. Florida State
12. ARIZONA STATE
13. Texas A&M
19. Georgia Tech
20. Coastal Carolina