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Ducks host Utah in Pac-12 home opener

Mar 16, 2022

Series History - Utah

  • Oregon and Utah have met 30 times with 27 of those coming since Utah joined the Pac-12 for the 2012 baseball season.
  • Oregon holds a 24-6 advantage in the series, winning the last nine games.
  • The Ducks won the first four Pac-12 series between the teams, Utah won the next two and Oregon has won the last three.
  • Oregon has won nine of the 12 games played in Eugene.
  • Oregon swept the last series played in Eugene in 2018. The Ducks have swept five of the nine series between the clubs, while winning two of three twice.
  • Oregon won the first three games played between the two schools before the Utes joined the Pac-12, sweeping a pair of games in San Diego in 1972 and winning a single game in San Diego in 1965.

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 will debut behind the left-center field wall this weekend vs. Utah.
  • The new video board is replacing the 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.

Among the best

  • Oregon heads into the Utah series among the national leaders in a number of statistical categories.
  • The Ducks are third in the country in batting average and double plays, while ranking fourth in hits, eighth in double plays per game, 13th in slugging, 14th in runs, 16th in home runs and 20th in on-base percentage.
  • Oregon also ranks in the top 30 in home runs per game (25th) and doubles (26th).
  • Oregon leads the Pac-12 in eight major statistical categories, including seven on offense.
  • The Ducks lead the league in batting average, hits, home runs, HR/game, runs and slugging percentage at the plate, while also leading the conference in double plays and double plays per game.
  • Oregon is second in the Pac-12 in on-base percentage, hits (five behind league leader Arizona with one fewer game played) and total bases.
  • The Ducks are third in the conference in doubles and triples.

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 is batting .319 (23-for-72) with three doubles and three home runs heading into the Utah series.
  • All six of his extra-base hits this season have come in the last five games.

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 both third base and second base, Cowley is off to a blistering start batting .467 (21-for-45) with the nation's 13th-best OBP (.571).
  • He also ranks 16th nationally in batting average, and 35th in slugging percentage (.822).
  • In addition to batting average and on-base percentage, he leads the team in slugging percentage and base on balls (9), while ranking second in doubles (5).
  • In the Pac-12, Cowley leads the league in two of the three slash categories (AVG/OBP), while ranking second in slugging percentage and 10th in RBI and home runs.

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 is tied for the team lead in RBI (17) and stolen bases (4), while ranking second on the team batting .429 (21-of-49), runs scored (18), OBP (.525) and slugging percentage (.694).
  • In the Pac-12, Shade ranks fourth in batting average, RBI and OBP, while ranking sixth in slugging percentage and seventh in runs scored.
  • Nationally, Shade is 51st in the country in batting average, 62nd in on-base percentage and slugging percentage.

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 four 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 Utah series, Walsh is batting .386 (27-for-70) with three home runs, seven doubles, 17 RBI and 17 runs scored, while boasting a .442 OBP and a .614 slugging percentage.
  • He has a team-high 11 multi-hit games.
  • He is also second in three-hit games with two.
  • Walsh is tied for the team lead with six multiple RBI games.
  • He is tied for the team lead in three-RBI games with two.
  • Walsh is the team leader in hits, doubles and home runs (tied), while ranking second in at-bats and third in runs scored and OBP. He is fourth in slugging percentage.
  • In the Pac-12, Walsh ranks third in hits, fourth in doubles and fifth in total bases (43).
  • Among Pac-12 freshmen, he is the league leader in both hits and total bases and ranks second in doubles.
  • Nationally, Walsh is 18th in hits, 43rd in doubles and 53rd in total bases, while among all freshmen he ranks second in hits, third in total bases and is tied for sixth in doubles.
  • 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.
  • In the UCSB series, he batted .286 with a team highs in doubles (5) and RBI (5).
  • At No. 2 Stanford, Walsh batted .438 (7-for-16) with a home run, double, four RBI and two runs scored.
  • He had multiple hits in all three games against the Cardinal, finishing with two hits in each of the first two games and three hits (and three RBI) in game three.
  • At USD, 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.
  • Earlier this season, he put together a team-best eight-game hitting streak and has reached base in 14 consecutive games heading into the Utah series.
  • 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.

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 (13), 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 66 career appearances, followed closely by Churby's 63 appearances (58 at Sacramento State from 2018-21).
  • Other experienced arms include RHP Caleb Sloan (37 appearances), RHP Christian Ciuffetelli (32), RHP Andrew Mosiello (28), RHP Isaac Ayon (26), Sabia (26), LHP Rio Britton (21), RHP RJ Gordon (19) RHP Scott Ellis (14), NAIA transfer RHP Adam Maier (8) and RHP Logan Mercado (6).
  • 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.
  • Two of those freshmen -- Brandenburg and Hughes -- have already started games.

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.