Oregon Hosts No.1 And Undefeated Arizona State This Week
Release Date: 03/31/2010
For the first time at PK Park, Oregon (18-8, 1-2) will host the nation’s top-ranked team in Arizona State (23-0, 3-0). This will be the first three-game series away from home for the No. 1 Sun Devils, as ASU has only played only two games - with then #29 Cal State Fullerton - on the road this year.
OSN on CSNNW
Saturday’s series finale will be broadcast by the Oregon Sports Network on Comcast SportsNet Northwest. First pitch for Saturday is set for 1:05 p.m. Joe Giansante and Dwight Jaynes will be on the broadcast.
Over the radio airwaves, Jerry Allen and Brian Prawitz will provide the play-by-play on KSCR 1320 AM in the Eugene/Springfield area for all three Arizona State games this week.
The O-Zone will also offer a live video and audio feed of all three games at www.GoDucks.com.
For Duck fans in Portland, all three games will be broadcast on KUIK 1360.
Live stats will be available for all three games 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 will return to PK Park on Thursday to host a three-game series with three-time defending Pac-10 champion Arizona State. The Sun Devils (23-0, 3-0) are currently ranked No. 2 in the nation by Baseball America, while three other national polls have ASU at No. 1.
The series opener will mark the first “Thirsty Thursday” night at PK Park with all non-alcoholic beverages selling for $1 (drinks sold in souvenir cups also excluded).
In honor of April Fools Day, there will also be a magician roaming through PK Park during the game.
On Friday, Oregon will host “Joe Gordon Day” at PK Park to honor the program’s first National Baseball Hall of Famer. In attendance will be Gordon’s family and friends, including his daughter Judy, who will throw out the first pitch. Hall of Famer Bobby Doerr - a former major leaguer with the Boston Red Sox - will also be in attendance along with his son, former Oregon baseball player Don Doerr.
• 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.
• Five opponents (ARIZ, ASU, 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 went to Arizona last week on a five-game winning streak, but that stretch of success was snapped last Friday night as the Wildcats scored early in a 9-3 win over the Ducks.
UO held a 2-1 advantage over Arizona heading into the bottom of the sixth on Saturday, but the Ducks surrendered seven runs in the final three innings in an 8-4 loss.
On Sunday it was the Ducks turn for a comeback. A young Oregon squad trailed by as many as five runs, 8-3, entering the seventh. The Ducks chipped away at the lead with single runs in the seventh and eighth before taking the lead with four runs, thanks to a three-run homer from freshman Jack Marder in the ninth. Ahead 9-8, closer Scott McGough came on to retire the side in order in the bottom of the ninth.
Marder was the second of two freshmen - the first Steven Packard - to hit a home run during the Arizona series.
Last week, Packard led all batters with a .545 average (6-for-11) with two walks and two RBIs. KC Serna hit .400, while Eddie Rodriguez batted .375 with a team-leading six RBIs.
NO. 1 TEAM IN TOWN
Top-ranked Arizona State (23-0, 3-0) is undefeated on the season heading into this weekend’s series at Oregon. The Sun Devils have played only two road games this year (four neutral site), taking two at then No. 29 Cal State Fullerton (March 16-17).
The winners of the last three Pac-10 championships, Arizona State swept California at Packard Stadium in Tempe last week.
The Sun Devils, who are hitting .358 on the year, batted .330 against the Bears, led by Riccio Torrez (.462). ASU’s .358 batting average ranks eighth in the nation, and the Sun Devils’ 2.88 ERA ranks third. The starting staff of Jake Borup, Seth Blair and Kelly Merrill have made six starts apiece and have a combined record of 15-0 with 105 strikeouts and just 37 walks.
BACK BEHIND THE PLATE
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 .405. The Ducks’ clean-up hitter, Rodriguez leads the everyday starters with 23 RBIs, a .524 slugging percentage and .457 on-base percentage.
He has 10 multiple-hit games on the season and leads the squad with six multiple-RBI games. With runners in scoring position, Rodriguez has a .452 clip. He showed that success in pressure situations last Sunday at the plate, keeping Oregon’s rally alive in the ninth with a two-out base hit with one runner on, and eventually scored on Jack Marder’s three-run homer.
Sophomore shortstop KC Serna has inserted himself into the leadoff spot of the Ducks’ lineup. Serna is second on the roster batting .365 with a .410 on-base percentage. One of Oregon’s quicker players on the team, Serna is 8-for-10 in stolen bases this year. He has 35 hits, 18 runs scored, five doubles, and 14 RBIs. The Ventura, Calif., native is hitting .538 with runners in scoring position and his a .636 clip advancing runners.
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 17 double plays this year as the defense manages a .966 fielding percentage.
Pulfer is hitting .323 on the season, and last week at Arizona hit .333 against the Wildcats. It was Pulfer’s two-out single in the top of the ninth that started Oregon’s four-run go-ahead rally. The Cypress, Calif., native has scored a team-leading 22 runs and also has a team-best six doubles on the year.
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 last Friday, is also in the mix making starts against right-handers, while Ryan Hambright has started 12 games this season.
Marder, who hit an opposite field three-run homer to help Oregon to a 9-8 victory at Arizona last Sunday, is hitting .220 with 16 RBIs and 16 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 .274 with 16 RBIs, 15 runs scored and five doubles.
Steven Packard has made 14 starts in 15 appearances this year, and is batting .302. The right fielder has been walked seven times and has three doubles and one home run as well as two assists from the outfield.
Hambright has appeared in 21 games, making 12 of his starts at first base or designated hitter. The Corona, Calif., native is hitting .182 with eight walks and eight runs scored.
On March 19, freshman Jack Marder put himself in the Oregon record book with an eight-RBI performance in the Ducks 16-2 rout of Nevada.
In front of a crowd of 2,774 – a season high – the Ducks tallied 12 runs in the first three innings as Nevada starter Tyler Graham exited the game in third after surrendering nine runs (eight earned) on nine hits in two and 1/3 innings.
Oregon’s 16 runs were the most in the modern era, and the highest total for the program since a 16-4 win over Lewis & Clark on May 4, 1976; tying for ninth all-time in program history.
As Oregon led 12-0 in the seventh, Marder crushed his second homer of the season – a three run shot - over the wall in left center. Marder finished his day 3-for-5 with eight RBI – a new modern era record.
Marder then slugged his team-leading third home run of the year out of the ballpark last Sunday at Arizona, helping Oregon to a 9-8 comeback victory over the Wildcats.
Oregon’s pitching staff has a 2.99 ERA this season, ranking third in the Pac-10 and fifth nationally. The Ducks are led by full-time starters Tyler Anderson and Justin LaTempa.
Anderson, a lefty and the Friday-night starter, is 4-2 on the season with a 2.55 ERA in six starts. He has 36 strikeouts on the year, and is holding opposing batters to a .217 clip.
LaTempa, a senior right-hander, is 2-2 in five starts with a staff-leading 2.45 ERA and 27 strikeouts. Right-hander Alex Keudell has made five starts this season and leads the staff with 42 strikeouts.
Junior Drew Gagnier leads the relief arms with three saves and has made nine appearances this season pitching a total of 10 innings. The Santa Cruz, Calif., native has a 0.90 ERA, and nine strikeouts. Sophomore right-hander Scott McGough is 3-0 in with two saves, including retiring the side in order last Sunday to preserve the Ducks’ 9-8 win at Arizona. He has a 2.82 ERA and 18 strikeouts.
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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