Oregon Ducks (14-6, 5-1 Pac-12) Host The USC Trojans (13-6, 3-3 Pac-12)
USC comes to Eugene beginning today for a 3-game series against the Ducks in PK Park. The Trojans rallied to come back against Cal State Fullerton on Tuesday after dropping their series against the California Bears over the previous weekend. The weekend before that, they topped their series against rival UCLA.
The Trojans will be looking to pitching to stay in this series. This weekend, look for these likely USC starters: Friday - Jaden Agassi (2-0, 4.09 ERA), Saturday - Tyler Stromsborg (1-1, 2.88 ERA), Sunday - Charley Hurley (3-1, 2.10 ERA). They have a decent pitching staff that, like all the others at this time of this season, will find out how good they are against the best bats in the Pac-12.
USC is not without bats, and are lead by Adrian Colon-Rosado, who sports a .391 average with a .459 on-base percentage. They are led in home runs by Tyler Lozano’s 5 HRs and are 4-1 when Lozano homers.
Oregon ran into some pressure against Gonzaga on Tuesday, which was arguably more from their relief pitching not being quite as sharp as they have been over the past two weeks as anything else. Be that as it may, the Ducks are still first in the Pac-12 and moved up in the RPI rankings to #6 in the nation. USC, by comparison, sits at #99. Oregon is just out of the top 25 and a sweep this weekend could likely propel them into the top 25. The Ducks’ starters are still showing some impressive offensive stats, lead by Colby Shade’s .438 average with 6 doubles, 2 HRs, and a triple. Brennan Milone has been solid at .367 with 5 HRs and 5 doubles. Right now, Tanner Smith is the home run leader with 6 and boasts a .367 ERA.
Oregon is showing that - and yes, I’ll dare to say it - the Ducks can be considered a baseball school, and they have a very impressive showing considering that they are a NW team. The Ducks appear to be on a steady upward trajectory, so look for that continuing this weekend against USC.
A final note: for being early spring, Eugene will have some outstanding, temperate weather this weekend. If you’re in town, you owe it to yourself to visit the remodeled PK Park.