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Ducks open eight-game homestand

Mar 30, 2021

Ducks in the polls

  • Despite coming off its first series loss of the season, Oregon remains in all six polls heading into the New Mexico State series.
  • The Ducks are ranked between 19th and 22nd in all six major polls with Baseball America rating the Ducks the highest.
  • In the RPI, Oregon heads into Thursday's game ranked No. 3 in the RPI behind Arkansas and Fairfield.

Home cooking

  • This weekend's four-game homestand against NMSU is the beginning of the team's longest homestand of the season.
  • After the Ducks and Aggies play four games in three days, UO will host four games the next week as well.
  • Portland visits PK Park for the second time in two weeks on Tuesday, April 6, and then Oregon State comes to town for a Pac-12 series Apr. 9-11.

Series History - New Mexico State

  • Oregon holds a 4-0 edge in the all-time series with New Mexico State, sweeping a four-game set in 2015.
  • The Ducks won a tight 3-1 decision in the opener and then blew out NMSU 11-3 and 22-7 in the next two games.
  • Oregon wrapped up the series sweep winning the finale 6-3.

Oregon vs. ranked teams

  • For the first time since February, Oregon heads into a series not playing a team ranked in the national rankings of any poll.
  • Last weekend, Arizona entered the series ranked in the top 25 of four of the six polls, with a polls-high No. 21 ranking by Baseball America.
  • Oregon is 65-82 against teams ranked in the Baseball America poll since 2009, including 7-3 this season.
  • Oregon's last game against a ranked team (Baseball America) was on March 28 when the Ducks outscored No. 21 Arizona 18-13.
  • Oregon is 8-3 in its last 11 games against teams in the Baseball America top 25.

Oregon vs. the WAC

  • New Mexico State is one of three teams from the Western Athletic Conference that Oregon will play this season.
  • The Ducks opened the season splitting a four-game series with Seattle at PK Park.
  • After playing New Mexico State in a four-game series this week, Oregon will play Utah Valley in a midweek game on Tuesday, May 18, at PK Park.
  • Oregon is 32-11-1 all-time against team currently playing in the WAC.
  • The Ducks have faced WAC teams Seattle (24-4-1), New Mexico State (4-0), Utah Valley (1-0), Sacramento State (3-6) and Grand Canyon (0-1).

Double trouble and extra good

  • Oregon matched modern school records for doubles and extra-base hits in Sunday's 18-13 Pac-12 Conference win over Arizona last Sunday.
  • The Ducks doubled eight times and hit a home run to total nine extra-base hits in the game.
  • SO LF Tanner Smith, second-year FR CF Anthony Hall and SR 1B Gabe Matthews all doubled twice, while true FR C Josiah Cromwick and SO 2B Gavin Grant each hit one double.
  • SO RF Aaron Zavala hit Oregon's home run.
  • Oregon had hit eight doubles in a game once before, in a 12-2 win at Loyola Marymount on Feb. 21, 2014. Tyler Baumgartner had three in that game, while five other Ducks had one.
  • The Ducks have totaled nine extra-base hits in a game twice before.
  • UO had nine (4 doubles, 3 triples, 2 HRs) in an 18-1 win over Clemson in the first round of the 2014 NCAA Regional Tournament in Nashville on May 30, 2014.
  • Oregon's first nine extra-base hit game came in a 17-7 win over East Tennessee State on May 16, 2010, when the Ducks finished with seven doubles, a triple and a home run.
  • C Eddie Rodriguez hit for the cycle in that game.

Ducks pitchers throwing up zeros

  • Oregon's pitching staff put together a 24-inning scoreless streak, that started in the ninth inning of the March 7 win at UC Santa Barbara and ended when the Beavers scored in the fifth inning of Sunday's game
  • The streak was the fourth longest in Oregon modern era history.
  • The Ducks' had a 27-inning stretch in 2013 against Ohio State (23) and Gonzaga (4), a 25-inning streak in 2017 against Santa Clara (18) and California (7) and a 25-inning stretch in 2013 against Washington (23) and Arizona State (2).
  • Before the Arizona series, Oregon's pitching staff had held its opponents to no runs in 62 of the last 71 innings played.

Leather works

  • Oregon heads into the New Mexico State series with one of the nation's best defenses.
  • Oregon heads into this weekend third in the country and first in the Pac-12 in fielding percentage.
  • The Ducks boast a .989 fielding percentage and have committed just seven errors in 652 chances.
  • The Ducks have put together streaks of 62 innings and 44 innings without committing an error, while taking a 14-inning errorless streak into the NMSU series.
  • Oregon also ranks 13th in the country and second in the Pac-12 in doubles plays (19).

Looking for Aaron Zavala? He is probably on base

  • SO RF Aaron Zavala heads into the New Mexico State series among the national and Pac-12 leaders in a number of categories, including on-base percentage.
  • The Ducks' cleanup hitter leads the Pac-12 and ranks 17th in the nation with a .556 OBP.
  • also lead the Pac-12 in base on balls per game (0.94) and is second in batting average (.429).
  • He ranks 45th and 32nd respectively in those two categories nationally.
  • Zavala leads the Ducks in batting average, runs scored (21), hits (27), base on balls (17), OBP and stolen bases (5).

Death, taxes and Aaron Zavala off to a fast start

  • It was not a surprise to see SO RF Aaron Zavala off to another fast start.
  • Through the first 15 games, Zavala is hitting a blistering .429 with two home runs and seven RBI.
  • He already has eight multi-hit games heading into the Arizona series.
  • Zavala also got out of the gate fast in each of his first two seasons at Oregon.
  • exploded onto the collegiate scene as a freshman in 2019 with back-to-back three-hit games at Texas Tech to start his career.
  • In 2019, he became the first Oregon player in modern era program history to have four 3-hit games in a six-game stretch (Feb. 15-23).
  • hit .542 (13-for-24) in the month of February in 2019 with two doubles and four RBI.
  • The Ducks DH was batting .349 on March 16 that season and over .300 on March 22 before injuries plagued him eventually forcing the Keizer, Ore. native to miss a number of games.
  • He started fast again last season batting .418 with a Pac-12 leading 22 RBI with nine multi-RBI games and eight multi-hit games (four 3-hit ) in the 15-game season.
  • He had multiple hits in seven of the last 10 games, with three 3-hit games during that stretch.

Yovan continues to be a force

  • After winning four national awards and one conference honor after the UCSB series, JR DH Kenyon Yovan has continued to swing a hot bat.
  • The Ducks' DH has batted .351 (13-for-37) with three home runs, two doubles, eight RBI and 12 runs scored in the 10 games since the UCSB series.
  • Against UCSB, Yovan batted .467 (7-for-15) with four home runs and 11 RBI, while finishing the weekend with a blistering 1.267 slugging percentage and .591 on-base percentage.
  • That resulted in D1Baseball, Collegiate Baseball and Perfect Game naming Yovan a national player of the week following the series, while the NCBWA honored him as the hitter of the week and the Pac-12 Conference awarded him player of the week honors.

Batting leadoff, Smith among Pac-12 leaders in extra-base hits

  • SO LF Tanner Smith packs a lot of punch batting in the leadoff spot for the Ducks.
  • Smith ranks among the Pac-12 conference leaders in extra-base hits.
  • Through 18 games, he has 13 extra-base hits with seven doubles, three triples and three home runs.
  • He is tied for the league lead in triples, while ranking third in the country.
  • ranks in a tie for eighth in the league in doubles and is tied for 15th in long bombs.

Five guy

  • Second-year FR OF Anthony Hall went 5-for-5 with four RBI and a run scored in Oregon's 18-13 win over Arizona last Sunday.
  • became the first Duck to get five hits in a game since Kyle Kasser at USC (5/20/17).
  • , who also hit a pinch 3-run HR on Friday, set new career highs for hits and RBI in the Ducks win.

Kafka gives Oregon back-to-back Pitcher of the Week honors

  • After the ASU series, JR RHP Cullen Kafka became the second Duck in as many weeks to earn Pac-12 Conference Pitcher of the Week honors.
  • The Ducks Saturday starter, who was looking to even the series after Oregon lost game one, struck out a career-high 11 batters while allowing no runs.
  • He matched a career-high with seven innings pitched, with the ASU effort marking his first seven-inning stint in Pac-12 play.
  • After retiring the side in the first inning, Kafka pitched out of trouble in the second inning fanning two batters and enticing a weak groundout after ASU put runners on second and third with no outs.
  • It was clear sailing from there as only one runner advanced past first base with Kafka retiring the final 11 batters he faced.

Ahlstrom named Pac-12 Pitcher of the Week

  • The Pac-12 Conference named JR LHP Robert Ahlstrom its Pac-12 Pitcher of the Week after an impressive outing in a win over No. 17 Oregon State (3/12/21).
  • , who dominated from the first pitch against the Beavers, struck out a career-high 10 batters while allowing just three base runners in seven innings with none of them advancing past first base.
  • The Ducks' lefty gave up singles in both the first and second innings with one out, but retired the next two hitters in both innings. After the second hit, Ahlstrom retired the next eight batters (five on strikeouts) before giving up a leadoff single in the top bottom of the fifth. He fanned the next two Beavers before getting a ground out to end the inning.
  • At one point, Ahlstrom retired 17 of 18 Beavers including 10 on strikeouts. He fanned multiple hitters in four different innings and had four 1-2-3 innings.
  • is the first Oregon pitcher to claim the conference weekly honors since Kenyon Yovan earned the honor on April 30, 2018, and the 16th Oregon pitcher named Pac-12 Conference Pitcher of the Week since 2009.

Big game Rob

  • JR LHP Robert Ahlstrom has been at his best in games vs. ranked teams during his three seasons in Eugene.
  • The Ducks' lefty has made six starts during his career against teams ranked in the top 25 and has been dominant.
  • In those six games, Ahlstrom has combined for a 2.23 ERA allowing just nine earned runs on 31 hits in 36.1 innings with 40 strikeouts and just seven walks.
  • In three of the six games, Ahlstrom has not allowed a run.
  • Against ranked opponents, he has set new career high in strikeouts with eight against No. 10 Arizona State in 2019, nine against No. 1 UCLA in 2019 and 10 against Oregon State on March 12.

Walker named to NCBWA preseason All-America team

  • After an impressive shortened 2020 seasons, JR RHP Brett Walker caught the eye of the National Collegiate Baseball Writers who named him third-team preseason All-America.
  • finished the shortened season 3-0 with a 0.84 ERA while allowing just two runs on 13 hits with 10 strikeouts and one walk in 21.1 inning pitched.
  • He held opponents to a .176 batting average.
  • The Ducks' right-hander finished second in the Pac-12 Conference in strikeout-to-walk ratio (10-to-1), WHIP (0.66) and walks per nine innings (0.42) while ranking third in wins.
  • Nationally, Walker ranked 10th in walks per nine innings, 19th in WHIP and 31st in strikeout-to-walk ratio.
  • Walker is off to a strong start during the 2021 season posting a 3-1 record.
  • His best outing came at No. 15 UCSB where he shut down the Gauchos allowing just one run on seven hits in six innings.
  • He also got a crucial series-clinching win over Arizona State where he allowed two runs in five innings.
  • took the loss in the Oregon State finale despite retiring the first 12 batters he faced.
  • He gave up all three of his runs in the fifth before leaving the game in the seventh.
  • At Arizona, he got the win in the finale, allowing just four runs in five innings in a game the teams scored a combined 31 runs (18-13).