After spending 11 days on the road and playing eight games in that time span, Oregon returns to PK Park on Tuesday.
The Ducks take a .500 record of 4-4 into this week with six games on the schedule. Oregon will host Washington on Tuesday (5 p.m.) and Wednesday (2 p.m.), before hitting the road for their third road trip of 2010.
Oregon will play a four-game series at Fresno State beginning on Friday (6:05 p.m.), with a doubleheader scheduled for Saturday (2:05 p.m.) and the finale set for 1:05 p.m., Sunday. All games will be played at Beiden Field.
The Oregon Sports Network will broadcast its first Oregon baseball game of the year against the Huskies at 5 p.m., Tuesday. Duck fans can follow the broadcast on Comcast SportsNet Northwest.
Joe Giansante and veteran sportswriter and radio personality Dwight Jaynes will be on the broadcast.
Over the radio airwaves, Brian Prawitz and Jerry Allen will provide the play-by-play on KSCR 1320 AM in the Eugene/Springfield area for both Washington games this week. Prawitz will fly solo to Fresno State to broadcast the four-game series with the Bulldogs.
The O-Zone will also offer a live video and audio feed of both Tuesday’s and Wednesday’s games against the Huskies.
O-Zone will also offer and audio simulcast for Duck fans out of the broadcast area during Oregon’s four-game series at Fresno State.
For Duck fans in Portland, here are your channel listings:
Tuesday: KUIK 1360 AM
Wednesday: KUIK 1360 AM
Friday: 95.5 THE GAME
Saturday:KUIK 1360 AM
Sunday: 95.5 THE GAME
Live stats will be available for all six games this weekend. Find the links at www.GoDucks.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 season will be able to select their seats while placing their orders.
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.
OPENING DAY PENANTS
In honor of opening day, Oregon will give away “Opening Day” penants to fans in attendance at PK Park on Tuesday.
• 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 Friday night in Fresno.
• Oregon also welcomes 11 newcomers to the roster; eight freshmen and three juniors.
Washington heads into Tuesday’s midweek matchup with a .500 record of 3-3. The Huskies are on a two-game losing streak after dropping the final two games of their series with Fresno State on Saturday and Sunday at Husky Ballpark in Seattle.
A season ago, Washington and the Ducks played seven games, with Oregon winning only one. This year the program’s stats are complete opposites of one another as Washington is batting .303 compared to Oregon’s .244 average.
On the mound, the Ducks have a healthy 2.73 ERA, while the Huskies pitching staff’s ERA is a bit lofty at 7.67.
VS. FRESNO STATE
• Last season Oregon’s three-game series with the 2008 College World Series champions was one of two series the Ducks won the whole year.
Oregon christened PK Park with a 1-0 victory over Fresno State on Feb. 27, 2009 in front of a sellout crowd, and took Game 2, 7-1, before losing the finale 10-3.
Oregon holds a slight 7-6 advantage in the all-time series with the Bulldogs, and took 2-of-3 from Fresno State the last time the two programs squared off in Fresno during the 1975 season.
The Bulldogs enter this week with a 5-2 record after taking a three-game series on the road at Washington, 2-1, last week.
The Bulldogs are hitting a healthy .327 and have put 12 balls over the fence, with an additional 16 extra-base hits (15 doubles, 1 triple).
The pitching staff is maintaining a 4.87 ERA.
• Oregon opened 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, STAN, OSU, UCLA, ASU, WSU) 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 on Feb. 19, 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, 2009 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.
Anderson is now 1-1 on the season with a 3.38 ERA in two starts and 10 and 2/3 innings pitched. The Las Vegas native is holding batters to a .195 clip and is expected to start the Ducks’ series opener at Fresno State on Friday.
Oregon sophomore Danny Pulfer is currently on a two-game hitting streak and is doing his best to lead the Ducks at the plate.
The Cypress, Calif., native is hitting .400 with a team-leading eight RBIs and eight runs scored.
The Ducks’ starting second baseman has been hitting mostly seventh in the lineup, but was moved to No. 2 in the order during the Ducks’ 3-0 win at Hawai’i last Sunday.
Pulfer has three multiple-hit games and two-multiple RBI game sin 2010.
As a team Oregon has 15 extra-base hits this season; 12 doubles, one triple and two home runs.
Leading the Ducks with extra-base knocks is sophomore KC Serna. The Ducks’ starting shortstop is Oregon’s leadoff hitter in 2010, and has five extra-base hits with four doubles and one triple.
His 25 assists from the hole also tie to lead the Pac-10 currently.
With Tyler Anderson the only returning weekend starter from a season ago, Oregon has had to try a few new options on the mound this year, and with a healthy Justin LaTempa and Zack Thornton in the lineup, Oregon’s options have expanded.
Thornton earned his first win of the season last Sunday, combining with closer Drew Gagnier to pitch a seven-inning shutout of Hawai’i in a 3-0 victory to avoid being swept. Thornton threw five and 2/3 innings, allowing two hits and two walks while tossing a career-high tying five strikeouts.
Gagnier, in his third appearance of the season and first save opportunity, pitched the final one and 1/3 innings, facing just one batter over the minimum and striking out two.
In three appearances and a total of 3 and 1/3 innings on the mound, Gagnier is holding batters to .091 clip and has recorded four strikeouts.
In two starts, Thornton has a 1-0 record and a 2.38 ERA, holding batters to a .195 average while striking out seven in 11 and 1/3 innings on the hill.
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 on Feb. 19, 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 Feb. 22 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 scoreless 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 11.0 innings, and is maintaining a staff-best 1.64 ERA in three appearances and one start.
Sophomore right-hander Alex Keudell has also impressed recently. Expected to get the start Tuesday vs. Washington, the Portland native is 1-0 in three appearances with a 1.35 ERA in 6 and 2/3 innings pitched.
His highlight of the season was pitching three and 1/3 innings and allowing just one run on three hits while striking out two in relief of Justin LaTempa, earning the win in the Ducks’ 6-2 victory at Long Beach State on Feb. 20.
Oregon head coach George Horton hasn’t been shy about putting his true freshmen 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.
Altobelli leads the group batting .276 with five RBIs, while Hambright (.211) has been walked a team-leading six times.
Marder is hitting .259 with two doubles and the Calabasas, Calif., native has been hit a team-leading four times.
Other freshmen to earn starts in 2010 have been Steven Packard (.000, 3BB), Nick Wagner (.000, 1BB) and Andrew Mendenhall (.000, 2 HBP, 1 SB).
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.
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.
PK Park is a year-round facility. The park features:
* A large external plaza and walkway
* An in-stadium concourse that can be used as a festival area for other sporting events.
* A pre-game area before home football games, where other games of interest will be played on the large video board.
* Seating for approximately 3,600 fans and a large standing room only section along right 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.
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.