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Ducks open homestand at new-look PK Park Friday

Feb 24, 2022

Series History - St. John's

  • Oregon and St. John's will meet in a series for the second time since baseball returned to Eugene.
  • The two clubs played a three-game series in Eugene during the 2015 season with the Ducks sweeping the Red Storm.
  • Oregon won game one, 4-3, in 12 innings, before finishing the series with 7-2 and 8-6 wins.
  • The three Oregon pitchers who picked up wins in the series -- Stephen Nogosek, David Peterson and Garrett Cleavinger -- went on to make it to the Big Leagues with Peterson and Nogosek debuting with the New York Mets and Cleavinger getting called up by the Philadelphia Phillies before playing for the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Oregon in PK Park openers

  • Oregon enters this weekend's home opener with an 11-2 all-time record in season openers at PK Park.
  • The Ducks have won eight straight home openers dating back to the 2014 season.
  • Oregon has wins over Portland, New Mexico State, Illinois State, Mississippi Stat, Seattle (twice), Saint Mary's and Nevada in that eight-game win streak.
  • The Ducks also have wins over defending national champion No. 15 Fresno State (2009), Washington (2019) and Long Beach State (2012) in PK Park openers.
  • The Ducks' losses came against Saint Mary's (2012) and Loyola Marymount (2013).
  • In home-opening series, the Ducks have series wins over Fresno State (2009), Saint Mary's (2011, 2019), Long Beach State (2012), Loyola Marymount (2013, 2018), New Mexico State (2015), Illinois State (2016), Mississippi State (2017) and Nevada (2020).
  • The Ducks split a two-game midweek series with Washington in 2010 and split a four-game series with Seattle last season, while the 2014 home opener was a mid-week game vs. Portland.

Home improvement

  • PK Park has a new look this season with a number of improvements to the playing service, the walls and areas surrounding the playing field.
  • The ballpark features a brand new playing surface with the latest in baseball field technology from Field Turf, including updated graphics.
  • The new turf replaces the turf that was originally installed when the ballpark opened for the return of baseball in 2009.
  • PK Park's new look also includes changes to the outfield wall.
  • The center-field fence and the power alleys in left-center field and right-center field have been moved in 10 feet from the original design and lowered in height from eight feet to six-and-a half feet from the left-field line to the right-center field gap.
  • The fence in front of the Ducks' bullpen in right field has been raised from four feet to six-and-a-half feet to match the rest of the outfield wall.
  • Outfield wall padding features updated Oregon graphics, while program recognition banners will soon be added to the outfield light towers featuring the Oregon Baseball program and student-athlete achievements.
  • A state-of-the-art 60-feet by 26.4-feet video board featuring the latest video technology from Daktronics is in the process of being installed behind the left-center field wall and will be finished and operational in late March.
  • The new video board will replace the existing video board that debuted when the park opened in 2009.

Record setting inning

  • Oregon scored 12 runs in the top of the eighth inning at San Diego in a 21-11 (8-inning) win on Feb. 21.
  • The 12 runs were the most ever scored by a Ducks' team with the 12 runs also setting a new record for most runs scored by both teams in an inning (old record of 11 both came when UO scored 11 in the sixth inning at WSU on 4/29/19).
  • Oregon also set a school record for hits in an inning with 10, breaking the old record of eight set in the same game at WSU in 2019.
  • The Ducks also tied school records for most doubles (3) in an inning and most extra-base hits (5) in an inning.

Veteran club with talented additions

  • Oregon returns 20 of the 38 players that were on the 2021 roster.
  • The Ducks return six position players who started at least 40 games, including two that started all 55 games: SS Josh Kasevich (55), OF Tanner Smith (55), 2B Gavin Grant (51), 3B Sam Novitske (47), C Jack Scanlon (46) and OF Anthony Hall (42).
  • While Oregon lost all three pitchers from the rotation, the Ducks' staff returns nine arms that made an appearance in 2021, including five that made at least 15 appearances or three starts: RHP Isaac Ayon (22 app., 2 GS), RHP Rio Britton (15 app.), RHP RJ Gordon (14 app., 3 GS), RHP Andrew Mosiello (21 app., 1 GS) and LHP Kolby Somers (20 app.).
  • and Smith both claimed All-America accolades in 2021 with Collegiate Baseball recognizing Smith and the NCBWA honoring Somers.
  • Three returning Ducks earned All-Pac-12 honors with Somers being named first-team All-Pac-12 and both Kasevich and Smith claiming honorable mention recognition.
  • Three of Oregon's returners were named to the Eugene All-Regional Team: Hall, Novitske and Smith.
  • Oregon also added four position players (INF Drew Cowley - Cal Poly Pomona; INF Brennan Milone - South Carolina; C Logan Paustian - Arizona State; UTL William Riley - MSU-Billings) and three pitchers (RHP Stone Churby - Sacramento State; RHP Adam Maier - University of British Columbia; RHP Dylan Sabia - Central Connecticut State) who transferred from other four-year institutions.

Smith named preseason All-America

  • Coming off a season where he claimed Collegiate Baseball third-team All-America honors, JR OF Tanner Smith has been named preseason third-team All-America by both Collegiate Baseball and the NCBWA.
  • A junior from Newport Beach, Calif., Smith finished last season batting .324 with five home runs and 36 RBI while batting leadoff for the Ducks.
  • He had a Pac-12 best 24 doubles, which set a new Oregon single-season record for two-baggers, while reaching base at a .417 clip and slugging .533.
  • The Ducks' left fielder ranked third among all Pac-12 players with 33 extra-base hits.
  • His 24 doubles ranked fifth nationally and his 0.44 doubles per game were the best in the Pac-12 and 12th overall in the country.
  • He also tripled four times, which was good for second in the Pac-12 and 28th nationally.

Smith due for some extra-base hits

  • With no extra base hits in the season-opening series at San Diego, JR OF Tanner Smith matched his longest streak of games without at least one double, triple or home run in a game.
  • Smith went four-game stretches without an extra-base hit just twice last season.
  • Smith finished with at least one extra-base hit in 26 of Oregon 55 games (47.2 percent) in 2021.
  • With 33 extra-base hits last season, Smith packed a lot of punch batting in the leadoff spot for the Ducks.
  • Those hits ranked third among all Pac-12 players last season, and is the second most among Pac-12 Conference players returning this season.
  • He led the Pac-12 Conference, ranked fifth nationally and set a new Oregon single-season record with 24 doubles.
  • His four triples ranked second in the conference and 28th nationally.
  • The two players who ranked ahead of Smith in extra-bag hits last season played four and two more games, respectively.

Walsh tabbed Pac-12 preseason freshman of the year by Baseball America

  • The one infield position Oregon entered the season with no returning start at was first base, but after a weekend, it looks like the position is in good hands with FR Jacob Walsh, who was named the preseason Pac-12 Conference Freshman of the Year by Baseball America.
  • In the opening four-game series at San Diego, Walsh finished batting .375 with a home run, two RBI and four runs scored.
  • He had three 2-hit games, including a 2-for-4 effort in his first career game.
  • In Oregon's 21-11 get-away day win, Walsh hit his first career home run while reaching base four times (2-for-4, 2 BB) with two RBI and four runs scored.
  • In game three of the series, he scored his first run while going 2-for-4 at the plate.
  • A Las Vegas native, Walsh was a consensus top-300 player in the country by Perfect Game (No. 132) and Prep Baseball Report (No. 297).
  • He also ranked as a top-five first baseman nationally by both PG (No. 3) and PBR (No. 5).
  • He ranked as the No. 4 player from Nevada by both Prep Baseball Report and Perfect Game.

Milone looks good in debut

  • Another newcomer to make a big splash opening weekend was designated hitter Brennan Milone.
  • A transfer from South Carolina, Milone led the Ducks in batting in San Diego hitting .529 (9-for-17) with a home run, a pair of doubles, two RBI and three runs scored.
  • had a hit in all four games, including three multiple-hit efforts.
  • The Ducks' DH went 4-for-4 in game three with his first career home run in an Oregon uniform, while adding a double, RBI and run scored.
  • On get-away-day, he went 2-for-5 with a double, RBI and run scored while adding a sacrifice fly.
  • He head a pair of hits (2-for-4) in game two, while collecting his first career Ducks' hit in the opener (1-for-4).

Cowley, Cromwick makes a splash during San Diego trip

  • A transfer from Division II Cal Poly Pomona, INF Drew Cowley had a big series at San Diego along with returning SO C Josiah Cromwick.
  • led the team with seven RBI, five of them coming in Oregon's record-setting 12-run eighth inning on get away day, while batting .571 (4-for-7) with two runs scored and a double in the series.
  • He blasted a go-ahead grand slam in the eighth and added a RBI single later in the inning.
  • hit .500/.600/1.125 (4-for-8) with a HR, two doubles, five RBI and 2 runs scored.

Somers named preseason All-America

  • Coming off a season where he claimed NCBWA third-team All-America honors, SR LHP Kolby Somers has been named preseason third-team All-America by both Collegiate Baseball and D1Baseball.
  • A senior from Hillsboro, Ore., Somers claimed first-team All-Pac-12 Conference honors in addition to NCBWA All-America honors last season.
  • He was dominant closing out games for the Ducks in 2021.
  • The lefty finished the season with a 2-2 record and a 3.08 ERA with 11 saves.
  • He fanned 37 in 26.1 innings pitched while holding opposing hitters to a .149 batting average.
  • He ranked third in the Pac-12 in saves, as well as ranking sixth all-time in single-season saves at Oregon.
  • His seven saves in conference games were the second most in the league, one behind the leader.

Ducks boast experienced arms

  • Oregon opened the 2022 season with 12 pitchers on the 17-member staff who had experience at the four-year college level, including nine with double digit outings, six with more than 20 appearances, three with 30-plus appearances and two with more than 50 outings.
  • The staff has five different pitchers who have career saves led by LHP Kolby Somers (12), and transfers RHP Stone Churby (5) and RHP Dylan Sabia (4).
  • Oregon's closer last year, Somers leads the staff with 62 career appearances, followed closely by Churby's 59 appearances (58 at Sacramento State from 2018-21).
  • Other experienced arms include RHP Caleb Sloan (33 appearances), RHP Christian Ciuffetelli (29), RHP Andrew Mosiello (26), RHP Isaac Ayon (23), Sabia (22), LHP Rio Britton (16), RHP RJ Gordon (15) RHP Scott Ellis (10), NAIA transfer RHP Adam Maier (6) and RHP Logan Mercado (4).
  • The Ducks added a pair of junior college transfers in RHP Matt Dallas from Lane Community College in Eugene and RHP Jace Stoffal from Umpqua CC in Roseburg, Ore.
  • Both earned All-Northwest Athletic Conference honors during their time at the JCs.
  • Oregon also added three freshman -- RHP Tommy Brandenburg, RHP Jacob Hughes and RHP Cho Tofte -- to the staff.

Maier looking to join accomplished list of Oregon Friday night starters

  • When Oregon opened the season at San Diego, RHP Adam Maier took the mound as Oregon's Friday night starter looking to be the latest in a long-line of successful pitchers to be the opening day starter for the Ducks.
  • The previous names of pitchers who have filled have taken the mound on opening day is impressive with future Major League Baseball pitchers, an eventual Pac-12 Pitcher of the Year and high MLB draft picks who have toed the rubber as series game-one starters.

Brandenburg one of just a handful of freshman to open season in rotation

  • When RHP Tommy Brandenburg made a start in game four of the season-opening series at San Diego on Feb. 21, he became just the seventh Oregon pitcher in the modern era to crack the weekend rotation during the opening weekend.
  • The list of freshman to start during opening weekend is impressive with the previous six all getting drafted and four of the six making it to the big leagues.
  • The last freshman to start a game in the season-opening series was David Peterson, who eventually was selected in the first round of the 2017 MLB Draft by the New York Mets with pick No. 20.