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Ducks host Beavers in battle of ranked teams

Apr 8, 2021

Rivalry weekend

  • Oregon and Oregon State will meet for the second time this season in a three-game series.
  • The Ducks and Beavers played a non-conference set in early March in Corvallis with the Ducks winning two of the three games.
  • This is the first season since baseball returned to Oregon in 2009 that the rivals have played two three-game series in the same season.

Rivalry weekend

  • Oregon and Oregon State will meet for the second time this season in a three-game series.
  • The Ducks and Beavers played a non-conference set in early March in Corvallis with the Ducks winning two of the three games.
  • This is the first season since baseball returned to Oregon in 2009 that the rivals have played two three-game series in the same season.

Ducks in the polls

  • Oregon continues to hold steady in the polls following its fourth series win this season, a sweep of New Mexico State.
  • The Ducks are ranked as high as No. 18 by Perfect Game, while checking in at No. 19 by Baseball American and Collegiate Baseball.
  • The Ducks are 20th in the coaches poll and the D1Baseball poll and No. 21 in the NCBWA poll.

Series History - Oregon State

  • Oregon trails the all-time series between the two teams, 187-166.
  • Oregon has won four of the last seven games after snapping a 10-game losing streak at the hands of the Beavers on April 9, 2019 in Corvallis.
  • The Beavers have won the last three Pac-12 and season series between the two teams, while Oregon won the previous two in 2015 and 2016.
  • Oregon won a non-league series between the two clubs in early March in Corvallis.
  • The two teams have played 57 games since baseball returned to Oregon for the 2009 season.

Oregon vs. ranked teams

  • For the fifth time in seven weeks, Oregon heads into a series against a team ranked in the national rankings of at least one of the polls.
  • Two weeks ago, 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.

Ducks weekend starting rotation came up big at Oregon State

  • Oregon's rotation of LHP Robert Ahlstrom, RHP Cullen Kafka and RHP Brett Walker put together an impressive series at Oregon State earlier this season.
  • The three-man rotation combined against then No. 17 Oregon State for a 1.45 ERA in a series win allowing just three runs on eight hits in 18.2 innings with 21 strikeouts and five walks.
  • , Kafka and Walker held OSU to a .127 batting average (Ahlstrom - .125; Kafka - .133; Walker - .208) while on the mound in the series with each of them facing at least 21 batters.
  • The three Ducks held the Beavers scoreless in 18 of the 19 innings they combined to start on the mound.
  • opened the series and held OSU scoreless through seven innings with a career-high 10 Ks, allowing just three runners to reach base and with none moving past first.
  • threw five scoreless innings allowing just two hits with a then career-high 8 Ks.
  • retired the first 12 Beavers he faced before giving up three runs in the fifth inning. He ended up pitching into the seventh inning.

Double trouble and extra good

  • Oregon matched modern school records for doubles and extra-base hits in an 18-13 Pac-12 Conference win over Arizona on March 28.
  • 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 Oregon State scored three in the fifth inning on March 14.
  • 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.
  • Against New Mexico State, The Ducks staff allowed just one earned run in 36 innings, with that coming in the seventh inning of game four of the series.

Matthews new Doubles King of Oregon

  • SR 1B Gabe Matthews set a new school record for career doubles when he ripped his 48th two-bagger against Portland on Tuesday to break the old record set by Mitchell Tolman (2013-15).
  • Matthews is closing in on a number of other all-time records at Oregon as well.
  • The Ducks' first baseman needs eight hits to set a new school record, as well as 16 RBI, 24 walks and 78 at-bats.
  • He is 34 starts shy of setting a new school record and needs nine more multi-hit games to take the all-time lead in that category.

Zavala at home while on base

  • SO RF Aaron Zavala heads into the Oregon 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 fifth in the nation with a .569 OBP.
  • also lead the Pac-12 in base on balls per game (0.96) and is second in batting average (.443) and third in base on balls (22).
  • He ranks 16th in the nation in batting average, while also ranking 25th in walks and 33rd in base on balls per game.
  • Zavala leads the Ducks in batting average, runs scored (25), hits (35), base on balls, OBP and stolen bases (6).

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 23 games, Zavala is hitting a blistering .443 with four home runs and 14 RBI.
  • He already has 10 multi-hit games heading into the OSU series and has reached base multiple times in 16 games, including the last seven and 11 of the last 12.
  • 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.
  • 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.

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 .333 (19-for-57) with four home runs, three doubles, 13 RBI and 13 runs scored in the 15 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 is tied for the lead in the Pac-12 conference in extra-base hits.
  • Through 34 games, he has 17 extra-base hits with 20 doubles, three triples and three home runs.
  • He leads the league in triples, while ranking second in the country.
  • is also tied for the league lead in doubles, while ranking tied for 25th in HRs.

Walker earns Collegiate Baseball national honor

  • JR RHP Brett Walker claimed one of Collegiate Baseball's Player of the Week honors after he struck out a career-high 13 batters in a win over New Mexico State on Saturday.
  • Walker entered the game with just 15 strikeouts in his first five starts, including a then career-high five in a win over Arizona State the week before.
  • struck out at least one batter in all six innings, with three Ks in the first and sixth innings and two punch-outs in the second, third and fourth innings.
  • He left the game with a 6-0 lead.
  • After an impressive shortened 2020 season, 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.

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.