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Ducks host UC Santa Barbara in 4-game series starting Friday

Mar 2, 2022

Series History - vs. UC Santa Barbara

  • Oregon and UCSB have met 12 times previously, including 10 times in the modern era of Oregon baseball.
  • The Ducks hold an 8-4 lead in the series, including an 8-2 edge since 2015.
  • Oregon won the only previous series in Eugene, winning two of three games during the 2016 season.
  • In the opener of the series, a couple of future big leaguers met on the mound with Oregon's Cole Irvin outpitching UCSB's Shane Bieber in a 13-1 Oregon win.
  • Oregon lost game two of the series 1-0 in 14 innings, before clinching the series with a 3-1 win behind a dazzling outing by David Peterson (7.0 IP, 6 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 13 K).
  • In the teams' latest meeting, Oregon swept a four-game series at UCSB last season.
  • The Ducks rallied from behind to win three of the games while also winning 17-2 in one of the contests.

Top 20 National Hitters

  • UO heads into the UCSB series with three hitters ranking in the top 20 in the country in average.
  • SO OF Colby Shade ranks sixth (.579), JR INF Drew Cowley (.571) is ninth and SO SS Josh Kasevich (.531) is 19th.
  • In addition, SO DH Brennan Milone (.485) ranks 43rd while also ranking 28th in home runs.

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 innings

  • 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.
  • The record-setting 12-run inning remained a record for exactly seven more innings before Oregon broke it again with a 13-run eighth inning in the series opener against St. John's on Feb. 25.
  • Oregon scored the 13 runs behind eight hits (2 doubles), six walks and a hit-by-pitch.

Ducks tie school record for runs in a game

  • The 44 combined runs scored by Oregon in the San Diego series finale and the St. John's series opener were the most ever scored by the Ducks in back-to-back games.
  • Oregon matched a school record with 23 runs scored vs. St. John's in game one of the series, tying the 23 runs the Ducks scored against Portland State (5/6/74).
  • The 21 runs scored by the Ducks at San Diego tied for the third most at the time it happened.
  • The Ducks also scored 21 at Washington State (4/12/19), at Sacramento State (3/19/79) and vs. Northwest Nazarene (3/6/76).
  • The 23 runs vs. St. John's also broke the PK Park record which was set when the Ducks' beat New Mexico State 22-7 (2/21/15).
  • In addition to the two 20-plus run games, The Ducks scored double-digit runs in the second (16) and third (13) games of the St. John's series, marking the only time in the modern era the Ducks have scored 10-or-more runs in four-straight games.

Offensive explosion

  • The Oregon offense was nearly unstoppable in the St. John's series.
  • As a team, the Ducks batted .385 with a .505 OBP and a .581 slugging percentage.
  • Oregon scored 58 runs in the four-game series, putting 23, 16, 13, and six on the board.
  • The Ducks had 16 extra-base hits (9 doubles, 1 triple, six home runs) in the series, compared to just three of St. John's.
  • The Ducks also walked 28 times and were hit by nine pitches.
  • Fifteen different Ducks scored at least one run, with seven scoring five-of-more runs.
  • Oregon ended the St. John's series ranked among the nation's best in hits (5th), batting average (7th), runs (12th), OBP (12th), slugging percentage (12th), home runs (14th) and home runs per game (20th).
  • The Ducks led the Pac-12 Conference in runs, home runs, home runs per game, while ranking second in batting average, hits and OPB.

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.

It's hot in the Shade

  • After battling injuries early in the season as a true freshman, SO OF Colby Shade is healthy and producing for the Ducks in 2022.
  • The Ducks' centerfield produced in a big way in the St. John's series, batting a team-best .667 (8-for-12) with a home run, three doubles, nine RBI and nine runs.
  • He added four walks and three HBPs to finish with a .789 on-base percentage while slugging 1.167.
  • He also reached base in 13 straight plate appearances during the series.
  • For the season, Shade leads the team batting .579 (11-of-19), runs scored (13) and doubles (4) while ranking second in OBP (.679), slugging percentage (.947), RBI (12) and stolen bases (3).
  • Nationally, Shade is sixth in the country in batting average, fourth in on-base percentage and 24th in slugging percentage.
  • In the Pac-12, Shade leads the league in batting average and runs scored, while ranking second in OBP, third in slugging, RBI, doubles and HBP.

Step up in competition doesn't slow Cowley

  • After spending three seasons at Division II Cal Poly Pomona, JR INF Drew Cowley made the move to Division I this season.
  • Playing third base, Cowley is off to a blistering start batting .571 (12-for-21) with the nation's top OBP (.700).
  • He also ranks ninth nationally in batting average and 11th in slugging percentage (1.095).
  • In addition to on-base percentage, he leads the team in slugging percentage, triples (1) and base on balls (7), while ranking second in batting average, doubles (3) and total bases (23).
  • In the Pac-12, Cowley leads the league in both OBP and slugging percentage, while ranking second in batting average, sixth in walks and total bases, seventh in runs scored and RBI, and ninth in hits.

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

  • The one infield position Oregon entered the season with no returning starts at was first base, but after two weeks, 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.
  • Heading into the UCSB series, Walsh is batting .424 (14-for-33) with two home runs, a double, eight RBI and 12 runs scored (2nd on the team), while boasting a .564 OBP and a .636 slugging percentage.
  • In the opening four-game series at San Diego, Walsh finished batting .375 with a home run, two RBI and four runs scored.
  • In the St. John's series, he batted .438 with a home run, six RBI, seven runs scored and four walks.
  • He had five 2-hit games and one 3-hit game, 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 the first two weeks was designated hitter Brennan Milone, who is batting .485 with a team-high three home runs.
  • He is the only Duck with at least one hit in all eight games this season, including six multiple-hit games.
  • In the St. John's series, he batted .438 with two home runs, seven RBI and seven runs scored, while reaching base at a .550 clip and slugging .875.
  • He hit first-inning home runs in the first two games of the St. John's series to help the Ducks get out to an early lead.
  • 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.
  • The Ducks' DH went 4-for-4 in game three at San Diego 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 had a pair of hits (2-for-4) in game two, while collecting his first career Ducks' hit in the opener (1-for-4).

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 six different pitchers who have career saves led by LHP Kolby Somers (12), and transfers RHP Stone Churby (5) and RHP Dylan Sabia (4), and RJ Gordon (1) who picked up his first vs. St. John's.
  • Oregon's closer last year, Somers leads the staff with 63 career appearances, followed closely by Churby's 60 appearances (58 at Sacramento State from 2018-21).
  • Other experienced arms include RHP Caleb Sloan (35 appearances), RHP Christian Ciuffetelli (30), RHP Andrew Mosiello (27), RHP Isaac Ayon (24), Sabia (23), LHP Rio Britton (18), RHP RJ Gordon (16) RHP Scott Ellis (11), NAIA transfer RHP Adam Maier (7) 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.