No. 8 Oregon vs. Portland
• Date: Wednesday, April 18
• Venue: Volcanoes Stadium (Keizer, Ore.)
• TV: None
• Radio: KUJZ 95.3 FM in Eugene/Springfield; Jerry Allen
Washington State at No. 8 Oregon
• Date: Friday-Sunday, April 20-22
• Venue: PK Park (Eugene, Ore.)
• TV: Comcast SportsNet Northwest (Friday & Sunday)
• Radio: KUJZ 95.3 FM in Eugene/Springfield
After a 3-2 win over Arkansas Pine Bluff on Monday at PK Park, the eighth-ranked Ducks have four games remaining on the schedule this week.
Oregon travels to Keizer, Ore., on Wednesday to host Portland at Volcanoes Stadium with first pitch set for 6:30 p.m.
The Ducks then return to PK Park to host Washington State in a three-game series beginning on Friday with a 6 p.m. first pitch.
It’s Vegas Night at PK Park on Friday as Oregon opens its three-game series against Washington State. Fans can purchase reserved seats for $7.77 and sing Elvis karaoke!
Sunday is Earth Day at PK Park as first pitch for the series finale is scheduled for a noon first pitch. Donate an old electronic item to Goodwill and receive $5 general admission. Wear green!
After beginning the season unranked, the Ducks (25-10, 10-5) are currently ranked in five national polls, and rest at No. 8 in the Baseball America rankings. Oregon’s ranking is the highest for the program since reinstatement (2009).
The Ducks also enter the weekend in a three-way tie for first place in the Pac-12 standings with UCLA and Arizona.
The Salem-Keizer Volcanoes will host Oregon and the Portland Pilots at Volcanoes Stadium on Wednesday with first pitch scheduled at 6:30 p.m.
Tickets may be purchased in-person at Volcanoes Stadium, by phone 503-390-2225, or online at www.volcanoestickets.com.
LAST WEEK RECAP
Oregon finished last week 4-1, and won its seventh series of the season, taking two of three on the road at then sixth-ranked Stanford. Oregon’s series win against the Cardinal also marked its fourth series win against a ranked opponent (three on the road) as the Ducks hold a 10-3 record against top-25 opponents in 2012. Oregon has now won four consecutive Pac-12 series, including three straight against top-25 opponents.
Last week, Oregon outscored its opponents 19-9 as Ryon Healy batted .368 and drove in six runs.
TWO-TIME PAC-12 PITCHER OF THE WEEK
Oregon senior right-hander Alex Keudell was named Pac-12 Pitcher of the Week for the second week in a row, Commissioner Larry Scott announced Monday.
The Portland, Ore., native struck out a season-best seven batters, allowed just one run on five hits and walked no one in Oregon’s 4-2 series-opening victory over then-sixth-ranked Stanford on Friday at Sunken Diamond.
This is Keudell’s second career Pac-12 Pitcher of the Week selection and Oregon’s fifth all-time selection. Keudell joins the likes of former Pac-12 pitchers Trevor Bauer (UCLA), Tim Lincecum (Washington) and Mike Leake (ASU) as one of a select few Conference pitchers to earn the weekly honor in back-to-back weeks.
Portland enters Wednesday’s game with a record of 20-11. The Pilots have dropped four of their last five, including a series loss at Pepperdine last weekend.
Oregon leads the all-time series against Portland 84-33, and in 2011 the Ducks took the season series, 3-2, for the first time since the Oregon program was reinstated.
Both teams are expected to start freshmen as right-hander Kody Watts (2-0, 1.35) will make his second start of the year against Oregon left-hander Jordan Spencer (1-1, 5.68) in his third start of 2012.
WASHINGTON STATE SERIES
Washington State (18-15) holds the all-time record in the series, 146-115-1. Last year, the Cougars took two-of-three to win the series in Pullman.
WSU is led by Derek Jones and his league-leading .752 slugging percentage. Jones is batting .385 with 37 RBIs, 10 doubles, three triples and nine home runs.
Oregon’s 2012 schedule is ranked the eighth strongest in the country according boydsworldcom, while the NCAA rates Oregon’s RPI at 12.
Preseason All-Conference Team
UT So. Ryon Healy .320, 4HR
Top 50 Draft Prospects
28. Jr. LHP Christian Jones
(missing 2012 season with injury)
40. So. 1B/RHP Ryon Healy
47. So. RHP Jimmie Sherfy
50. So. C/OF Aaron Jones
Top 100 College Seniors
46. Sr. RHP Alex Keudell
98. RS-Jr. RHP Joey Housey
Top 50 Freshmen
23. Fr. RHP Jake Reed
26. Fr. OF Billy Flamion
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 enters 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 has taken 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.
• Jimmie Sherfy’s nine saves are a new Oregon single-season record.
• Last Saturday’s 5-0 series clinching win over Stanford marked the 600th Division I career victory for head coach George Horton.
• Oregon’s 19 home runs matches the club’s season total from a year ago.
• With Oregon’s 8-3 win at UCLA (04/06), the Ducks won five consecutive conference games for the first time since May 4-9, 1976.
• Oregon is now 10-3 against ranked opponents in 2012.
• 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 last Thursday.
• Oregon 4-3 loss to Utah on March 25 was Oregon’s first defeat when leading after eight innings (11-1) in 2012.
• 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 in wins over Portland State (10-6), Linfield (16-15) and Washington State (12-1).
• After finishing 2011 with a record of 5-12 in one-run games, the Ducks are currently 9-4 in one-run games and 4-0 in games that are decided in extra innings.
• 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 eighth. 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).
• Two 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.
THE LAST 12
Since dropping a pair of games at Texas State (March 27-28), the Ducks rebounded to sprout a 10-2 record in their last 12 games.
During that stretch, Oregon’s pitching staff has managed a 2.27 ERA, while Alex Keudell and Jake Reed have combined for a 6-0 on the mound, allowing just four earned runs in 46 and 1/3 innings. Closer Jimmie Sherfy has also totaled five saves.
Aaron Jones and Ryon Healy have driven in nine runs apiece during that stretch, while Brett Hambright (.333) and Kyle Garlick (.323) are leading the club offensively.
The only returner from Oregon’s 2011 starting rotation is senior Alex Keudell.
Keudell was drafted in the 38th round by the Minnesota Twins in the 2011 MLB Draft, but chose to return to Eugene for his senior campaign.
Keudell takes the mound on Friday night as the reigning two-time Pac-12 Pitcher of the Week.
The Portland, Ore., native is 5-3 on the season with a 1.92 ERA (3rd Pac-12), and is now 4-0 in his last four starts and has allowed just two runs (one earned) in his last 32 innings of work.
In four seasons with the Ducks, Keudell posts a 17-18 record with a 3.37 ERA. His 17 wins tie for third in all-time program history.
NUMBERS ON THE MOUND
Oregon’s 2.82 ERA currently ranks second in the Pac-12 and 19th in the country. The Duck pitching staff is holding opponents to a .225 clip to lead the Pac-12, while UO’s pitchers have picked off 12 runners to lead the league. Oregon’s 242 strikeouts rank third, but UO has struck out 83 batters looking for tops in the conference.
Oregon’s staff allows just 7.11 hits per nine innings to rank fourth in the country.
Freshman right-hander Jake Reed ‘s 2.19 ERA ranks fifth in the Pac-12. Reed has recorded eight quality starts as Oregon’s Saturday starter, and sports a 4-2 record with 33 strikeouts. The La Mesa, Calif., native is also holding opposing batters to a .203 clip (3rd Pac-12).
The Ducks are 7-2 when Reed takes the mound.
Reed was selected in the 40th round (1,221 overall) of the 2011 MLB Draft by the Chicago White Sox.
Oregon’s trio of sophomore pitchers - Jeff Gold, Brando Tessar and Jimmie Sherfy - each play significant roles in Oregon’s rotation.
Closer Jimmie Sherfy (3-1) has already set a new single-season record with nine saves in 2012. The Camarillo, Calif., native also leads the country averaging 12.97 strikeouts per 9.0 innings pitched.
Brando Tessar is 4-1 in 2012, and currently sports a 3.58 ERA with 37 strikeouts in 50 and 1/3 innings on the mound.
Jeff Gold is 5-2 on the season with a 3.16 ERA, and is UO’s midweek starter. In his last start, Gold earned the win in Oregon’s 3-2 victory over Arkansas Pine Bluff, allowing two runs in seven innings of work.
Oregon’s offense is led by the middle of its lineup Aaron Jones, Ryon Healy, Kyle Garlick and Brett Thomas.
Jones (.314) leads the team with 28 RBIs, five home runs, and eight multiple-RBI games.
Healy (.297) has driven in 26 runs in 2012 and leads the Ducks with 41 hits, while Kyle Garlick leads the club in batting average (.337) and on-base percentage (.419). Thomas is batting .290 on the year with seven doubles and 11 RBIs.
THE NEW DUO
Junior J.J. Altobelli made the move from third base to shortstop this season, and his infield mate is sophomore Aaron Payne.
The Duck defense has turned 30 double plays (3rd Pac-12), and posts a .979 fielding percentage which leads the Pac-12.
2011 SEASON RECAP
Oregon finished the 2011 season with a 33-26-1 record and an eighth place finish in the Pac-10 with a mark of 11-16. The Ducks clinched three conference series victories with wins over two Super Regional participants; Stanford and Oregon State as well as regional participant, Arizona.