Ducks host Portland Tuesday before entertaining Washington Thursday-Saturday: Oregon continues a seven-game homestand this week when it hosts Portland on Tuesday and Washington Thursday through Sunday at PK Park. Oregon is riding a three-game winning streak after sweeping Arizona in a Pac-12 weekend series March 22-24. The Ducks host the Pilots for the second time this season and will play two games later this year in Portland to complete the four-game series. The Huskies, who won two of three from Oregon in Seattle last season, don’t play again until visiting Eugene on Thursday.
First Meeting (2/26/13) - Oregon 3, Portland 1: Four Oregon pitchers combined for 15 strikeouts to lead the No. 14 Ducks to a 3-1 non-conference win over Portland at PK Park.
Christian Jones, making his first start since May 28, 2011 because of an elbow injury that forced him to miss all of last season, allowed just two hits in three innings while striking out five. Jeff Gold, who didn’t allow a base runner, fanned seven in four innings to pick up his first win of the season.
Freshman Garrett Cleavinger went an inning-plus striking out two before giving way to All-American closer Jimmie Sherfy with a runner on first and no outs in the ninth. Sherfy picked up his third save of the season, striking out one.
Oregon’s 15 strikeouts were the most by the Ducks since UO pitchers fanned 17 in a 12-inning win at Hawaii on Feb. 18, 2012.
Scott Heineman, Brett Thomas and Ryon Healy all drove in one run each for the Ducks in the win. Heineman, who didn’t have an official at bat, also scored two runs. He was hit by pitches twice, walked once and had a sacrifice fly.
The Ducks jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning when Healy picked up a RBI single to left field scoring Heineman who had a one-out walk to start the inning.
Oregon added to the lead with runs on sacrifice flies in both the third and fifth innings. Thomas extended the lead to 2-0 in the third with a sacrifice fly to left field scoring Heineman, while Heineman plated J.J. Altobelli with a sac fly to centerfield in the fifth.
Ducks sweep defending National Champions: Oregon opened its seven-game homestand last weekend with a three-game sweep of Arizona, the defending National Champions. The Ducks picked up a 2-1 win in game one on Friday, a 5-1 win in game two on Saturday and a 7-6 victory in game three on Sunday. Oregon hit .274 as a team with Tyler Baumgartner (.500, 1 double, 1 triple), Brett Thomas (.375, 4 runs scored), Ryon Healy (.300, 1 home run, 5 RBI), and Scott Heineman (.300) all batting .300 or better. The Ducks pitching staff limited Arizona’s potent offense finishing with a 2.33 ERA. All three Oregon starters -- Jake Reed, Tommy Thorpe, and Cole Irvin -- picked up wins. Jimmie Sherfy had a save, while the Ducks bullpen didn’t allow a run in the first eight innings of work before giving up three runs in the ninth inning of game three.
UO climbs in polls: Oregon moved up in all four of the polls released on Monday after sweeping defending national champion Arizona last weekend. The Ducks climbed one spot in the Baseball America poll to 12th, while moving up five spots in the Collegiate Baseball poll to 10th, three spots in the USA Today Coaches Poll to ninth, and five spots in the Perfect Game poll to 11th. (The NCBWA poll wasn’t released as of 4 p.m. Monday)
Ducks schedule features a number of ranked teams: Oregon played six games in a 10-day stretch against teams ranked in the top 25 poll starting March 1 when the Ducks visited No. 5 (this week’s Baseball America ranking) Cal State Fullerton. The Ducks returned home for a two-game series against Cal State Northridge and then played three games against No. 3 Vanderbilt. Oregon’s schedule doesn’t figure to get any easier with the Ducks facing two Pac-12 teams and one West Coast Conference team currently ranked in the Baseball America poll later this season. Second-ranked Oregon State (April 9 at OSU, May 17-19 at PK Park, May 21 at OSU), No. 7 UCLA (April 19-21) and No. 21 Gonzaga (May 14-15) are all ranked in the Baseball America Poll. Stanford and Arizona State, who both dropped out of the BA poll in the last few weeks, are ranked in at least one of the other polls. Stanford, who Oregon plays April 26-28, is ranked 24th in the USA Today Coaches Poll. Arizona State (April 5-7) is 24th in the Perfect Game poll. Arizona, who the Ducks swept last weekend, was ranked in all five polls earlier this season but has dropped out after being swept by Oregon State and Oregon in back-to-back weekends.
Ducks use strong pitching to get off to quick start: Oregon has used solid pitching to get out to an 18-6 start heading into this week’s games against Portland and Washington. Oregon’s staff has combined for a 2.92 ERA while striking out 173 hitters in 213 innings with just 77 walks. UO has used six different starters in the first 24 games, with those pitchers combining for a 3.33 ERA. Jeff Gold, who has started three games and appeared in relief three times, leads the group of starters with a 1.23 ERA. In his three starts, Gold has allowed just four earned run in 17.2 innings pitched for a 2.04 ERA. Friday starter Jake Reed leads the team with 30 strikeouts in 36.2 innings pitched. Saturday starter Tommy Thorpe has a 3.28 ERA and 26 strikeouts in 35.2 innings. Sunday starter, and true freshman, Cole Irvin has a 3.69 ERA with the Ducks winning five of his six starts. The Ducks’ bullpen has been even better compiling a 2.30 ERA over 74.1 innings. All-American closer Jimmie Sherfy (1.65 ERA) has seven saves and a win, while striking out 24 in 16.1 innings pitched. True freshman Garrett Cleavinger has a save, as does junior Christian Jones. Darrell Hunter is second on the team with 12.1 innings pitched out of the bullpen and has a 2.19 ERA.
Jones gets first start since May 28, 2011: Senior Christian Jones made his first start in 21 months Feb. 26 against Portland. The 6-foot-3 left-hander entered the game on a pinch count and threw 3.0 innings, allowing just two hits while striking out five. Jones missed all of the 2012 season while recovering from an elbow injury. He returned to the mound during this year’s season opener when he pitched three innings in relief, allowing just one hit while striking out two in a win over Hawaii on Feb. 16. Jones earned the save in the Ducks’ win and appeared in two more games out of the bullpen before making his start, throwing an inning at Hawaii on Feb. 18 and two innings against Loyola Marymount on Feb 22. For the season, Jones has a 0.00 ERA in 13.0 innings while allowing just four hits with 15 strikeouts. In 2011, Jones finished the season with a 7-2 record and a 3.24 ERA. He started 12 games for the Ducks, striking out 73 hitters in 77.2 innings. The Danville, Calif., native struck out more than 10 hitters twice that season. He had 13 against BYU and 12 vs. Saint Mary’s.
Four Duck pitchers combine for 15 strikeouts in 3-1 win over Portland: Christian Jones, Jeff Gold, Garrett Cleavinger and Jimmie Sherfy combined to strike out 15 Portland batters in a 3-1 win on Feb. 26, while not allowing a walk during the game. Jones started the game and struck out five in three innings before giving way to Gold who fanned a career-high seven Pilots in four innings. Cleavinger struck out two in the eighth inning, and Sherfy added one punch out in the ninth to give the Ducks their most strikeouts since Feb. 18, 2012 when Oregon pitchers struck out 17 Hawaii batters in a 12-inning win.
Ducks play 10 TV games: Oregon will make its second of 10 regular season appearances on national television on Saturday when the Ducks host Washington on the Pac-12 Networks. Oregon plays a total of eight games on the Pac-12 Networks during the season, while also playing one game on ESPNU and one game on the Big 12 Network. (See complete TV schedule on page 6)
Ducks 14-6 all-time against ranked teams at PK Park: Oregon is no stranger to hosting ranked teams at PK Park. During the program’s four-plus seasons playing in the park, the Ducks have played 20 games against teams ranked in the Baseball America top 25 and compiled an impressive 14-6 record in those games -- a .700 winning percentage. Oregon hosted No. 2 Vanderbilt March 8-10 and won one of three against the Commodores. The Ducks dropped games one (4-1) and two (4-2) before winning the series finale (7-5) on Sunday. Vanderbilt was the highest-ranked team to visit PK Park, matching the number-two ranking of Arizona State in 2010.
The Ducks have won every series against ranked teams they have played in PK Park, with the exception of the Arizona State and Vanderbilt series. Oregon beat defending National Champion, and 15th-ranked, Fresno State two out of three in 2009 in the first series in ballpark history against a ranked team. The Ducks won the first two, 1-0 and 7-1, before losing game three 10-3. In 2010, Oregon dropped two of three to No. 2 Arizona State winning game two 6-5 in 12 innings, while beating No. 19 San Diego 13-4. In 2011, UO beat No. 23 Arizona two of three and swept No. 6 Oregon State at PK Park. Last season, the Ducks swept No. 14 Arizona State in a three-game series, while beating No. 23 Oregon State in a single Tuesday game. Since baseball was reinstated at Oregon, the Ducks have played the No. 1 team in the country in two separate series on the road. In 2009, UO lost two games at UC Irvine (9-6, 7-4) before taking two of three games (5-4, 8-4, 1-5) at UCLA in 2010.
Sherfy named to Golden Spikes Award watch list and NCBWA Stopper of the Year watch list; junior also on three preseason All-America teams: Jimmie Sherfy has been named to both the 2013 USA Baseball Preseason Golden Spikes Award watch list and the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association Stopper of the Year watch list. Sherfy, who is one of 50 players named to the Golden Spikes Award list and 75 players named to the NCBWA preseason list, was a Stopper of the Year finalist as a sophomore last season. The Camarillo, Calif. native has also claimed a number of preseason All-America honors. He was named a preseason first-team All-American by the NCBWA and Louisville Slugger, and was a second-team preseason pick by Perfect Game. Sherfy earned multiple postseason All-America honors as a sophomore after finishing the season with 19 saves and a 2.20 ERA. The right-handed reliever claimed first-team ABCA/Rawlings All-America recognition, while being named second-team All-America by the NCBWA, Baseball America, and Perfect Game, and third-team by Louisville Slugger. Sherfy was also a NCBWA Stopper of the Year finalist and claimed first-team All-Pac 12 accolades after leading the league in saves. Sherfy set an Oregon record with 19 saves while finishing with a 5-3 record in 36 appearances. He struck out 93 hitters in just 61.1 innings (an average of 13.6 strikeouts per nine innings pitched) and held opponents to a .172 batting average.
Sherfy Preseason Honors
2013 USA Baseball Preseason Golden Spikes Award Watch List
NCBWA Stopper of the Year Watch List
NCBWA Preseason 1st-Team All-America
Louisville Slugger Preseason 1st-Team All-America
Perfect Game Preseason 2nd-Team All-America
Sherfy 2012 Postseason Honors
NCBWA Stopper of the Year Finalist
ABCA/Rawlings 1st-Team All-America
Baseball America 2nd-Team All-America
Perfect Game 2nd-Team All-America
NCBWA 2nd-Team All-America
Louisville Slugger 3rd-Team All-America
Pac-12 1st-Team All-Conference
Horton named 2012 Division I Coach of the Year by FieldTurf: University of Oregon head baseball coach George Horton won the 7th annual FieldTurf Baseball Award as the 2012 NCAA Division I Coach of the Year Field Turf announced in January. Horton led the Ducks to within one win of the College World Series in just the program’s fourth season after it was reinstated for the 2009 season. Under Horton’s tutelage, Oregon finished the 2012 season with a 46-19 record and a No. 11 ranking in the final Baseball America Top-25 poll. The Super Regional appearance was the eighth by a Horton coached team, and the first for Oregon since 1954. The 40-win season was the ninth in Horton’s 15 years as a head coach at the Division I level and the team’s .708 winning percentage was the best by a Ducks team since 1978.
Ducks 2013 recruiting class ranked No. 6 by Perfect game: The Oregon Ducks 2013 baseball recruiting class is ranked sixth in the nation by Perfect Game. The Ducks signed the nationally-ranked class after advancing to within one game of the College World Series last season. Oregon won a school-record 46 games in 2012 before ending its season in the Super Regional in Eugene.