Oregon Ducks at Hawaii Rainbow Warriors
8:35 PT :: Les Murakami Stadium :: Honolulu, Hawaii
Radio :: 750 The Game AM (Portland) :: KSCR 1320 AM (Eugene)
Pitching Matchup :: Alex Keudell (RHP) UO | Matt Sisto (RHP) UH
The fighting Hortons make their 2012 debut tonight as they take on Hawaii on the islands. After failing to meet lofty expectations last season, the Ducks are taking a more cautious approach, focusing on day-to-day improvement (especially given a gutted pitching staff that only returns one starter and has already lost three starters for the season with Tommy John surgery). Tonight's matchup pits that returning starter, senior Alex Keudell against Matt Sisto of Hawaii. Keudell was 7-3 last season with a 2.89 ERA while Sisto was 5-5 with an ERA of 3.67 (I know those stats suck, but haven't found a good source of sabermetrics for the college game).
Oregon's offense figures to be better this season, and features some returning talent in 1B Ryon Healy (.888 OPS) and OF Aaron Jones (.734 OPS). Baseball America projects Oregon at 7th in the Pac-12 and to return to the NCAA Tournament, and Hawaii as the fourth place team in the WAC, a projected one-bid league.
I have some preview pieces coming out on the baseball next week. But for tonight, I'll be sitting with a beer and a radio thinking about baseball and Hawaii on a cold, rainy February evening. Hope a few of you join me.