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Ducks look to continue success at Utah

May 13, 2021

Series History - Utah

  • Oregon leads the all-time series against the Utes 21-6, including an 18-6 advantage in games played since baseball returned to Eugene for the 2009 season.
  • Oregon leads the all-time series at Utah 9-3 with a two games to one series win in 2013 and series sweeps in 2015 and 2019.
  • The Utes won the 2017 series claiming the final two games after the Ducks won game one 11-1. UO has won six of the eight series between the two since 2012.
  • This year's games will be played in Ogden, Utah, because of conflicts with the Salt Lake City Triple-A team.

Ducks have an ace in Ahlstrom

  • Oregon in in good hands on Friday nights. LHP Robert Ahlstrom has proven to be an ace on the mound compiling a 5-3 record with a 2.11 ERA with 64 strikeouts in 64 innings.
  • Ahlstrom earned his third Pac-12 Conference Pitcher of the Week honor this week after tossing 7.0 shutout innings with a career-high 11 strikeouts in a win over Washington.
  • The weekly honor was the third of the season for Ahlstrom, the most for any pitcher or position player in the Pac-12 this season.
  • The three awards also tied David Peterson's three in 2017 for the most ever by a Duck pitcher.

Ducks in the polls

  • After sweeping Washington in a three-game series last weekend, Oregon moved up in all six major polls, including into the top 10 in three of the six.
  • Oregon is ranked as high as No. 9 (Coaches Poll, NCBWA), with a No. 10 ranking (D1Baseball), a No. 12 ranking (Collegiate Baseball), a No. 15 ranking (Baseball America) and a No. 16 ranking (Perfect Game).
  • The Ducks have won five of their last six series with four of those coming in Pac-12 action.
  • In addition to the UW sweep, the Ducks have claimed series wins this season over UC Santa Barbara, Oregon State (twice), Arizona State, New Mexico State, USC and UCLA.

Tough schedule

  • In six of the first 11 weeks of the season, Oregon played a series against a team ranked in the national rankings in at least one of the polls.
  • The Ducks have already played UC Santa Barbara, Oregon State (twice), Arizona State, Arizona and UCLA while they were ranked in one of the polls.
  • Oregon enters the weekend series at Utah as the No. 10 ranked team in the RPI, while boasting the 33rd best strength of schedule.
  • 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, then again vs. Washington

  • 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 Ducks matched the four home run effort in a 9-3 win over Washington on May 9 when 1B Gabe Matthews, DH Kenyon Yovan, RF Aaron Zavala and CF Anthony Hall all homered.
  • Before the USC game, 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 at Gonzaga 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 need two RBI to add to hits, doubles and extra-base hits career records

  • SR 1B Gabe Matthews has already set three 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).
  • On April 28 against San Jose State, Matthews went 2-for-3 for his 59th career multiple-hit game to break Danny Pulfer's (2009-11) career record.
  • Matthews has run his career total to 230 hits, 54 doubles and 60 career extra-base hits.
  • Matthews needs four RBI, 17 runs, 17 walks, and 30 at-bats to set new school records.
  • He is 19 starts shy of setting a new school record as well.

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.
  • Heading into the Utah series, Smith is fourth in the nation, and first in the Pac-12, in doubles while Matthews is 18th in the country and fourth in the Pac-12 in two-baggers.
  • is fourth in the conference in extra-base hits with 26 while Matthews is tied for sixth with 23.
  • Through 41 games, Smith has 18 doubles, four triples and four home runs.
  • He is second the league in and 16th in the nation in triples.
  • Three Arizona players rank in the top five in extra-base hits with all three playing between 43 and 45 games while Smith and Matthews have played in 41.

Zavala among nation's elite hitters

  • SO RF Aaron Zavala heads into the Utah series sixth in the nation in on-base percentage (.529), while ranking 26th in batting average (.393), 21st in base on balls (38) and 19th in base on balls per game (0.93).
  • Zavala leads the Pac-12 conference in base on balls, while ranking second in OBP and base on balls per game, third in batting average, sixth in slugging percentage (.621), ninth in hits per game (1.39) and 12th in hits (57).
  • Zavala leads the Ducks in batting average, runs scored (44), hits, base on balls, OBP, slugging percentage and stolen bases (9).
  • 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 .282 (29-for-103) with five home runs, six doubles, 21 RBI and 21 runs scored in the 27 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.

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 allow 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.

Ahlstrom three-time Pac-12 Pitcher of the Week

  • The Pac-12 Conference named JR LHP Robert Ahlstrom the Pac-12 Conference Pitcher of the Week for the third time this year after a dominating performance vs. Washington.
  • three 7.0 scoreless innings against UW while fanning a career-high 11 batters.
  • previous two honors came after win over rival Oregon State on March 12, and April 9.
  • The Ducks' lefty, who dominated from the first pitch against the Beavers in the first meeting, struck out a then 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.

Kafka earns Pac-12 Pitcher of the Week honors after ASU series

  • 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.

Somers on watch list

  • The NCBWA named JR LHP Kolby Somers to the midseason Stopper of the Year watch list at the end of April.
  • Somers is 1-0 with a 1.29 ERA and eight saves in 13 appearances this season with 22 strikeouts in 14.0 inning pitched.
  • The lefty has not allowed a run in 12 of his 13 outings in 2021.
  • Two former Ducks have been finalists for the Stopper of the Year Award.
  • Jimmie Sherfy was a finalist in both 2012 and 2013, while Kenyon Yovan was a finalist in 2017.
  • Five other Ducks have been on the watch list since 2009.