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Baseball: Pac-12 Season Opening Weekend at Stanford

Ducks Face Tough Cardinal Pitching Staff

Syndication: The Register Guard Dana Sparks/The Register-Guard via Imagn Content Services, LLC

Oregon Ducks (8-5, 0-0 Pac-12) vs

Stanford Cardinal (8-3, 0-0 Pac-12)

When: 3/11/2022 – 6:05 PM

3/12/2022 – 2:05 PM

3/13/2022 – 12:05 PM

Where: Klein Field at Sunken Diamond, Stanford, CA

Watch: Stanford Live Stream

Hear: Oregon Sports Network

Oregon travels to Stanford this coming weekend for a 3-game series to open the Pac-12 season. The Ducks come into Conference play with an 8 – 5 record and have been a streaky team thus far. Oregon started the season with three straight losses to San Diego, then won seven straight beginning with the last game against the Toreros, four straight against St. Johns – outscoring the Red Storm 58 – 9 – and the first two in last week’s home series against Santa Barbara. The Ducks then dropped the last two against the Gauchos on close decisions, and beat the University of Portland Tuesday by a score of 18 - 2.

The Cardinal comes in with an 8 – 3 record having just completed a 3-game home stand against Cal State Northridge, winning the last two to go 2- 1 in that series. The Cardinal also sport a win over #2 Arkansas, shutting out the Razorbacks 5 – 0 in the Karbach Round Rock Classic in Round Rock, Texas late last month. Stanford also defeated Louisiana and Indiana during their Texas trip, going undefeated in that tournament. Stanford holds a 21 – 15 advantage over the Ducks since Oregon brought back baseball in 2009.

Oregon Ducks

Oregon has shown an explosive offense at times, scoring double-digit runs in 5 of its 13 games. The Ducks have nine players hitting .321 or higher (some of whom have limited at bats), led by Junior infielder Drew Cowley at .512. As a team, Oregon is hitting .339. Four Ducks have 15 RBIs - Sophomore Catcher Josiah Cromwick, Cowley, Sophomore Colby Shade and Sophomore Josh Kasevich. Cowley, Cromwick and Sophomore Brennan Milone have each hit three home runs. Oregon has stolen 10 bases in 14 attempts, led by Sophomore Josh Kasevich’s four. Oregon has scored 122 runs in its 13 games.

The Ducks starting pitching rotation has featured four players who have each started three games. Freshman Jacob Hughes started against Portland State, went 3 innings and got the win. Sophomore right-hander Isaac Ayon has gone 2 – 0 with a 3.00 ERA. Ayon has struck out 16 and allowed 15 hits in a total of 18 innings of work. Sophomore right-hander – and relative newcomer to pitching – Adam Maier has gone 1 – 1 with a 4.02 ERA. Maier has pitched 15.2 innings, giving up just 11 hits and striking out 19 and appears to have a very high ceiling as a pitcher. Freshman right-hander Tommy Brandenburg out of Kalama, Washington, has a 1 – 0 record and has pitched 10.1 innings over his 3 starts. Brandenburg has a 6.10 ERA and has given up 7 hits and 8 walks. Sophomore right-hander Andrew Mosiello is 1 – 1 with an 8.31 ERA. He has pitched just 8.2 innings in his three starts and has given up just 7 hits but walked 10 and struck out only 3. Duck relievers have been pretty effective, with Sophomore Rio Britton having yet to give up an earned run in relief. Britton and Senior Kolby Somers (1.80 ERA) each have wins in relief roles.

As a team, Oregon has made 13 errors and is fielding at a .973 clip. Some improvement in this stat should be expected as the season spools out.

Stanford Cardinal

So far, the Cardinal has failed to match Oregon’s offensive production. As a team, Stanford is hitting .276, and has been led by Junior infielder Brett Barrera and Sophomore infielder Carter Graham at .355 and .350 respectively. Graham and switch-hitting outfielder/pitcher Braden Montgomery have 3 home runs each. Montgomery is the only other Cardinal player hitting over .300. Stanford has scored 57 runs in its 11 games.

Stanford has also started four pitchers with Sophomore left-hander Drew Dowd, Junior left-hander Quinn Mathews and Senior right-hander Alex Williams having 3 starts and Freshman right-hander Ty Uber the other two. Dowd and Mathews have 1.38 and 1.59 ERAs respectively and a combined 4 – 1 record. Over 30 innings pitched, the pair have given up only 5 runs and have struck out 26 batters. Uber has a 1 – 0 record and a 2.00 ERA. Stanford pitching looks likely to challenge Oregon’s hitters, but if Oregon can get untracked, Stanford may not be able to keep up offensively.

The Cardinal have committed 11 errors and are fielding at a .972 rate, numbers comparable to Oregon’s.

Following its Pac-12 opener at Stanford, Oregon will host Utah the weekend of March 18, play a single road game at Gonzaga on March 22, host a series with USC beginning March 25 and close out March with a couple of non-Conference tilts in Eugene against the University of San Francisco Dons.