Ducks baseball and softball continues Pac-12 play in Eugene this weekend, with the ladies hosting the Oregon State Beavers and the men taking on the California Golden Bears.
Ducks baseball welcomes a Bears team that, on paper, Oregon should have an advantage over. However, in actual play the teams are evenly matched. While the Ducks struggled against Washington State this last weekend, Cal won the series earlier in the month. Oregon has the slight win-loss edge overall, and tends to win at home against the Bears.
California hasn’t won a series against Oregon since 2014, but they’re not without talent this year. Dylan Beavers leads the Pac-12 in home runs so far this season with 14. Nathan Martorella has been swinging very well this month, batting .420 in April, and is very difficult to strike out. The Bears have a respectable pitching staff, lead by Joseph King (3-2, 3.29 ERA) who tends to go deep in the innings. He probably won’t be pitching tonight, and instead we’re likely to see Steven Zobac (2-2, 5.51 ERA) for tonight’s game.
The Ducks will be trying to bounce back from a three-game skid, having lost the series with Washington State and their non-conference game earlier in the week against the Beavers.
Oregon Ducks Baseball starts tonight at 6:00 pm PT. You can watch the game on Oregon Live Stream.
Oregon hosts the rival Beavers this weekend, and are desperately trying to stop the April freefall, having lost 11 of the 13 games they’ve played this month. The Beavers, meanwhile, swept California and won their series against Arizona before being swept by Washington and UCLA. The Beavers are 5th in the Pac-12 standings, whereas the Ducks’ woes have them occupying the cellar in the standings.
The Beavers hitting is fronted by Kiki Escobar, whose 60 hits place her second in the Pac-12, with a .355 batting average. Frankie Hammoude leads the Oregon State home runs with 12 this year. Oregon State averages 5.15 runs per game. Pitching is lead by Mariah Mazon, who has 12 wins this season and a 1.62 ERA.
The storyline for the Ducks will be the same as it has been all month - pitching needs to limit damage, and the bats need to light up and give Oregon pitching a chance to win.