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Ducks host UCLA in crucial Pac-12 series

Apr 21, 2021

Series History - UCLA

  • UCLA leads the all-time series 31-14, including a 15-5 edge in games played in Eugene.
  • The Bruins have won 20 of the 32 games played between the two teams since the 2009 season, including 10 of the last 11.
  • The Ducks won eight of 12 between 2012 and 2015.
  • Historically, the games have been close since 2009, with 11 of the 32 decided by a single run with four more decided by two runs.

All Zavala

  • SO RF Aaron Zavala has proven to be one of the elite hitters in the country.
  • The Keizer, Ore., native is fourth in the country in OBP, while ranking 15th in batting average and 21st in base on balls.
  • leads the Pac-12 Conference in OBP and walks, while ranking third in batting average.
  • leads the Ducks in batting average, hits, runs, walks, OBP and stolen bases.

Ducks in the polls

  • Oregon continues to climb in the polls following its sixth series win this season, a road win at USC with wins on Saturday and Sunday.
  • The Ducks are ranked as high as No. 13 by D1Baseball, Perfect Game and the USA Today Coaches Poll.
  • Baseball America and the NCBWA placed the Ducks at No. 14, while Collegiate Baseball has the Ducks ranked 15th.
  • The Ducks came out of the USC weekend ranked fifth in the RPI.

Oregon vs. ranked teams

  • For the sixth time in nine weeks this season, Oregon is headed into a series against a team ranked in the national rankings of at least one of the polls when it plays UCLA (#19 Collegiate Baseball/#25 NCBWA).
  • The Ducks have already played UC Santa Barbara, Oregon State (twice), Arizona State and Arizona while they were ranked.
  • Oregon is 68-82 against teams ranked in the Baseball America poll since 2009, including 10-3 this season.
  • Oregon's last game against a ranked team (Baseball America) was on April 11 when the Ducks rallied for a 5-4 11-inning walk-off win over No. 21 OSU.
  • Oregon is 11-3 in its last 14 games against teams in the Baseball America top 25.

Ducks match home run record at USC

  • Oregon hit four home runs in a 13-4 win at USC on April 17 to match a modern-era school record for home runs in a game.
  • FR C Jack Scanlon, SO 2B Gavin Grant, JR DH Kenyon Yovan and FR CF Anthony Hall homered in the Ducks win.
  • The last time the Ducks hit three bombs was on April 13, 2013, when RF Scott Heineman went yard twice and 1B Ryon Healy and LF Brett Thomas hit solo shots in a 10-4 win at Cal.
  • The only other four-HR game came on April 21, 2010, when SS KC Serna, 3B Dylan Gavin, SS Danny Pulfer and RF Steven Packard all homered.

Ducks pitching dominant in six games vs. rival Oregon State

  • Oregon's rotation of LHP Robert Ahlstrom, RHP Cullen Kafka and RHP Brett Walker put together an impressive pair of series at Oregon State earlier this season.
  • The three man rotation combined to allow just eight earned runs in 38 innings (1.89) ERA against the Beavers, who were ranked 17th in the first meeting at 21st in the second.
  • In the March non-league series, the Ducks' starters combined 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.
  • In the April Pac-12 series, the trio set the tone for Oregon's first sweep of the Beavers since 2011.
  • They combined to allow five earned runs in 20.1 innings, an ERA of 2.21, in the Pac-12 Conference series.

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 had one double.
  • SO RF Aaron Zavala hit Oregon's home run.
  • Oregon had 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, which 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 is all-time leader in hits and doubles at Oregon

  • SR 1B Gabe Matthews has already set two Oregon career records this season and is closing in on a number of others.
  • Matthews set a new school record for career doubles when he ripped his 48th two-bagger against Portland on April 6 to break the old record set by Mitchell Tolman (2013-15).
  • In the USC series opener on April 16, he added the hits record when he delivered his 212th career knock to break the old record held by J.J. Altobelli (2010-13).
  • Matthews has run his career total to 219 hits and 51 doubles.
  • Matthews needs seven RBI, 21 walks, 23 runs and 55 at-bats to set new school records.
  • He is 27 starts shy of setting a new school record and needs three more multi-hit games to take the all-time lead in that category.

Leadoff hitter Smith, Matthews among Pac-12's Top Extra-Base Hitters

  • SO LF Tanner Smith packs a lot of punch batting in the leadoff spot for the Ducks, while SR 1B Gabe Matthews continues to accumulate extra-base hits.
  • Following the USC series, Matthews is 11th in the nation, and second in the Pac-12, in doubles while ranking fourth in the league in extra-base hits with 19.
  • Smith is tied for fifth in the Pac-12 Conference in extra-base hits.
  • Through 30 games, he has 18 extra-base hits with 11 doubles, four triples and three home runs.
  • He leads the league in triples, while ranking third in the country.
  • is also tied for fifth in the Pac-12 in doubles.

Zavala among nation's elite hitters

  • SO RF Aaron Zavala heads into the UCLA series fourth in the nation in on-base percentage (.545), while ranking 15th in batting average (.413), 21st in base on balls (28)and 25th in base on balls per game (0.93).
  • Zavala leads the Pac-12 conference in all OBP and walks, is second in base on balls per game, third in batting average and tied for sixth in hits (43) and hits per game (1.43).
  • Zavala leads the Ducks in batting average, runs scored, hits, base on balls, OBP and stolen bases (8).
  • also ranked first in the nation on D1Baseball's Top 100 Draft-Eligible Hitters list (April 15) based on analytics with an overall score of 96.92 (1.3 points ahead of Notre Dame's Niko Kavadas).

Yovan named to Golden Spikes watch list

  • For the second time in his career, JR Kenyon Yovan has been named to the Golden Spikes midseason watch list.
  • Yovan earned a spot as a hitter this season, after claiming a spot as a pitcher in 2019.
  • After winning four national awards and one conference honor after the UCSB series, Yovan has continued to swing a hot bat.
  • The Ducks' DH has batted .286 (24-for-84) with five home runs, four doubles, 17 RBI and 19 runs scored in the 22 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.

Ahlstrom two-time 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 then No. 17 Oregon State (3/12/21), and then awarded him the honor a second time after another dominant performance against the No. 21 Beavers (4/9/21).
  • , who dominated from the first pitch against the Beavers in the first meeting, struck out a career-high 10 batters while allowing just three base runners in seven innings with none of them advancing past first base.
  • 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.
  • In the second outing against OSU, he tossed seven scoreless innings before allowing a leadoff triple in the eighth to end his day.
  • He finished allowing one run on five hits with one walk and nine strikeouts in seven-plus innings.

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 seven starts during his career against teams ranked in the top 25 of the Baseball America poll and has been dominant.
  • In those seven games, Ahlstrom has combined for a 2.08 ERA allowing just 10 earned runs on 36 hits in 43.1 innings with 49 strikeouts and just eight walks.
  • In three of the seven games, Ahlstrom did 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.

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.

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 April 3.
  • Walker entered the game with just 15 strikeouts in his first five starts, including a then career-high five in a win over Arizona 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.