May 12, 2016
Ducks-Beavers battle in crucial Civil War series: After splitting a pair of non-league games this season at PK Park, Oregon and Oregon State will play a three-game Pac-12 series in Corvallis starting on Friday with both teams tied for fifth place at 10-11, just three games behind league-leaders Washington and Utah. Oregon State won the first game, 11-10, between the rivals on April 18. OSU jumped out to an 8-0 lead before Oregon stormed back to tie the game. The Beavers then scored three runs in the top of the ninth and Oregon answered with two runs and had the winning run at the plate in the bottom half. In the second game, the Ducks scored seven runs in the top of the second and then held on for a 7-6 win. Stephen Nogosek struck out Logan Ice with a runner on third to finish the game.
Ducks still in the hunt in the Pac-12: Oregon dropped two of three last weekend against Arizona State, but remains in the thick of the race in the Pac-12 Conference. The Ducks avoided a sweep to the Sun Devils, breaking out for a 12-2 win on Sunday to salvage a game in the three-game set. The Ducks head into this week’s conference action tied for fifth place, just three games behind Washington and Utah in the standings.
Horton one win shy of 1,000 career victories: Oregon head coach George Horton is closing in on three career milestones. Heading into this weekend’s games at Oregon State, Horton needs just one win to claim his 1,000th career victory. He opened his career at Cerritos College and compiled 226 wins in six seasons (1985-90) at the California junior college. Horton made the jump to Division I as an assistant at Cal State Fullerton in 1991 before becoming the Titans’ head coach in 1997. Over the next 11 seasons Horton won 490 games at CSF, including the 2004 national championship, before leaving to re-start the program at Oregon. Horton has added 283 wins in his seven-plus seasons at Oregon, moving within 27 wins of 800 Division I victories and within 17 wins of 300 victories at Oregon.
Wait, what….Clarifying Horton’s 1,000th: While George Horton is still looking for his 1,000th career win as a head coach, historically speaking he may have already reached the milestone. If Oregon holds on to win a suspended game against Portland on May 17, the game will count as a win on April 13 when the first eight innings were played. UO holds a 3-1 lead entering the ninth and if they end up winning, the Ducks’ victory over Arizona State last Sunday would be Horton’s 1,000th win as a head coach.
On Deck — The Ducks return to PK Park for their last five home games of the season. The Ducks will host Portland Tuesday, before entertaining Arizona in a weekend Pac-12 series, starting on Friday, and then playing one final home game Monday against Saint Mary’s. Before Tuesday’s Portland game, the Ducks and Pilots will also wrap up the game between the two teams that started on April 13 in Hillsboro. Oregon will take a 3-1 lead into the top of the ninth inning (Oregon is the visiting team in that game).
Ducks have 12th-most wins since beginning of 2012 season: Oregon has put together a four-plus year stretch of wins that is among the best in the nation. Since the 2012 season, when the Ducks advanced to the Super Regionals, Oregon has the 12th-most wins (194) in the nation while qualifying for postseason the last four years. UO has won at least 38 games in each of the previous four seasons and trails only LSU, Vanderbilt, Louisville, Virginia, Florida State, Oregon State, Florida, South Carolina, North Carolina, Miami and TCU in total wins.
Nogosek continuing Ducks’ tradition of superb closers: It wouldn’t be a stretch to call Oregon “Closer University” with the run of top notch relievers the Ducks have had in the back end of the bullpen over the last four seasons. JR RHP Stephen Nogosek is the latest Ducks’ pitcher to be tabbed to finish games with high expectations accompanying the job. Nogosek is 9-6 with 11 saves during his two-plus years at Oregon with a 1.93 ERA in 79 appearances.
The Ducks closer is 2-2 with 11 saves and a 1.11 ERA so far this season. He has 38 strikeouts in 32.1 innings pitched. He served as the Ducks’ set-up man last season setting a school record for appearances (39) while finishing with a 6-3 record and a 2.02 ERA. Nogosek follows three closers who combined for a 15-6 record with 62 saves and a 2.01 ERA in four seasons and were all drafted in first 10 rounds of the MLB Draft. Jimmie Sherfy started the run in 2012 and combined for a 7-3 record with 40 saves and a 2.22 ERA during his two seasons as the closer before being drafted by the Arizona Diamondbacks in the 10th round of the 2013 draft. Jake Reed inherited the closer role and finished 4-1 with 13 saves and a 1.93 ERA before being picked in the fifth round of the draft by the Minnesota Twins. Last season Garrett Cleavinger went 6-2 with nine saves and a 1.58 ERA, and then was selected in the third round by the Baltimore Orioles.
Nogosek named to three watch lists, including for Golden Spikes Award: JR RHP Stephen Nogosek has been named to the midseason watch list for the Golden Spikes Award, the National Pitcher of the Year Award, and the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association Stopper of the Year Award. Semifinalist voting for the Golden Spikes Award begins on Wednesday, June 1, and ends on Wednesday, June 8. Finalist voting begins Monday, June 13, and ends on Saturday, June 25. The winner will be presented with the award on Thursday, June 30. The National Pitcher of the Year Award trimmed their watch list on May 11 and left Nogosek off.
Nogosek (Roseville, Calif./Woodcreek HS) finished last season with a 6-2 record and a 2.02 ERA in a school-record 39 appearances. The right-handed relief pitcher struck out 60 batters in 58.0 innings pitched, while holding opponents to a .196 batting average. Nogosek, who was named a preseason All-American by both the NCBWA and Perfect Game, has a 7-4 career record and a 2.21 ERA in 56 appearances. Nogosek pitched for the U.S. National Team last summer and finished with a 1.69 ERA in six appearances. He struck out 11 and walked just one in 10.2 innings pitched, while holding opponents to a .200 batting average.
Nogosek climbing single-season top 10 in saves and games finished: With three weeks left in the regular season, JR RHP Stephen Nogosek is already fourth in single-season saves at Oregon with 11. The Ducks’ closer needs three more to move into third, just ahead of Jake Reed (2014). Nogosek has also moved into the top 10 in games finished. He is fifth with 21 and needs seven more to tie Reed (2014) for fourth.
Pitchers making runs in Oregon career record books: A number of Oregon players have a chance to move their names up the lists on the all-time records list for the Ducks, but none more than JR LHP Cole Irvin and JR RHP Stephen Nogosek. Friday starter Irvin is already among the all-time top 10 in starts, runners picked off, innings pitched and strikeouts. Nogosek, Oregon’s closer, has moved into second in appearances with 79, while also moving into a tie for fourth in saves with 11 and a tie for fifth in games finished with 28. SO LHP David Peterson and SO LHP Matt Krook have also cracked the top 10 in starts. Peterson is eighth with 24, while Krook is 10th with 19.
Six-hit shutout earns Irvin national honor: JR LHP Cole Irvin was named a National Player of the Week by Collegiate Baseball after tossing a six-hit shutout with a career-high 13 strikeouts against Washington State on April 30. Irvin dominated from the get-go against the Cougars, striking out two of the first three and five of the first seven men he faced and allowing just two men to reach second base. Irvin’s gem was his third-career shutout and fifth-career complete game, and was the first shutout thrown by a Duck since Irvin blanked Ohio State as a freshman in May 2013. Irvin is 4-4 with a 3.58 ERA in 11 starts this year, and leads the team with six quality starts. Irvin is second in the Pac-12 with 73 strikeouts, and has shown excellent command with just 12 walks. Irvin is the second Oregon pitcher to be named a National Player of the Week this season; SO LHP David Peterson earned the honor on March 8.
Peterson earns national player of the week honor: Collegiate Baseball named SO LHP David Peterson a Louisville Slugger Player of the Week by Collegiate Baseball following his win over UC Santa Barbara on March 6. The Ducks’ lefty picked up the series deciding win over UCSB allowing just one unearned run in seven innings while striking out a career-high 13 with just one walk. Peterson (2-0) lowered his ERA to 0.45, the best among Oregon’s starters, during the outing.
Peterson will play for Collegiate National Team: SO LHP David Peterson has accepted an invitation to be a part of the USA Baseball Collegiate National Team this summer. Peterson will join the collegiate team after Oregon’s season ends and take part in training camp games in Southern California from June 28 to July 2. The team will then travel to Taiwan, Japan and Cuba for a series of games. Team USA will play five games against the Taiwan National Team from July 5 to July 9. They will then meet Team Japan in the 40th USA vs. Japan Collegiate All-Star Series for five games from July 12 to July 17, before wrapping up the tour with five games against Team Cuba from July 22 to July 26. Peterson participated in the team’s training camp last summer.
Irvin, Peterson and Krook dominate in two week home stretch: Oregon’s weekend rotation couldn’t have been much better in the Ducks first two home series. After winning 8-5 in Thursday’s Illinois State opener of the four-game series, the Ducks’ regular weekend rotation of Cole Irvin, Matt Krook and David Peterson combined to go 2-0 while allowing just four runs (three earned) on six hits in 22 innings with 29 strikeouts against ISU. The Ducks’ trio held Redhawks’ hitters to a .085 batting average. A week later, the three held a UC Santa Barbara team that entered the weekend batting .352 to a .159 average. The Ducks’ trio didn’t allow an earned run on just 11 hits in 21 combined innings while striking out 31 and walking just four.
Susnara on Johnny Bench Award Watch List: Sophomore catcher Tim Susnara is one of 101 catchers to be named to the updated list, announced by the Greater Wichita Area Sports Commission on May 4. Susnara was ranked 31st by D1 Baseball in its preseason rankings of the top catchers in college baseball. The site also ranked Susnara 61st in its evaluation of the top 100 prospects for the 2017 MLB Draft, and the Ducks’ catcher was named the 10th best prospect for 2017 among players in the Cape Cod League over the summer.
Bennett Sparks Oregon Offense: JR OF Jake Bennett has given the Ducks’ lineup a significant boost this season, starting 28 consecutive games after spending the first 16 games as a reserve. Bennett is hitting .317 with six doubles and 22 RBI, while slugging .376 and posting an impressive .418 on-base percentage. The junior has hit safely in 23 of his 32 games – 19 of 28 starts – and has put together eight multiple-hit games and eight multiple-RBI games, including a monster game in the series-finale with Washington State in which he had a career-best four hits and three RBI. Bennett has shown a consistent ability to produce quality at-bats and put the bat on the ball, working 18 walks while striking out just 13 times in 101 at-bats. Bennett’s batting average has not dipped below .293 this season, and he has gone hitless in consecutive games just twice.
Susnara swinging a hot bat: SO C/1B Tim Susnara has been the Ducks’ hottest hitter of late, currently riding a career-long eight-game hitting streak. During the eight-game stretch, the Ducks’ catcher is batting .467 (14-for-30) with a home run, five doubles, nine RBI and seven runs score, while raising his average from .233 to .281. Susnara has driven in eight runs in his last four games after picking up 10 in his first 39, while adding his fifth multiple-RBI game of the season – and third consecutive – with a pair of RBI on Tuesday against Gonzaga. Susnara’s streak is highlighted by a career-high four-hit game against the Zags on Monday, adding to his team-leading total of 11 multiple-hit games.
Moniot ties UO freshman home run record: FR SS Travis Moniot hit his fifth home run of the season against Washington State on Saturday, April 30, tying current first base coach Jack Marder’s record for home runs by an Oregon freshman. Moniot’s two-run blast in the third inning of the Ducks’ 8-0 win against the Cougars moved him into second on the team in home runs behind SO OF A.J. Balta’s seven. Moniot has started every game at shortstop for the Ducks this season, and has been solid defensively while flashing his potential at the plate. Moniot had a torrid five-game stretch from April 10-18, batting .529 (9-for-17) with three home runs, two doubles, six RBI, three walks and nine runs scored. Moniot finished 1-for-2 with the home run, two RBI and two runs scored on April 30, and followed that up with a 2-for-4 day on May 1.
Grebeck closing in on single-season runs record, while Balta eyes multiple-RBI mark: A pair of offensive season records are in jeopardy over the next three weeks. JR CF Austin Grebeck needs to score just five more runs to break the single-season mark of 50 held by both Tyler Baumgartner (2014) and Aaron Payne (2014). Grebeck goes into the Oregon State series with 46 runs scored, the fourth most all-time. He also has walked 32 times this season, which ranks in a tie for sixth all time, and has three triples which is one shy of ranking in the top 10. SO OF A.J. Balta has put together 13 multiple-RBI games in 2016 which ranks in a tie for second all-time. He needs three more to match Ryon Healy’s (2013) school record of 16 multi-RBI games, while also needing just two more RBI to crack the school’s single-season top 10.
Grebeck, Balta and Packard join Karaviotis in chasing career records: Oregon’s career record book is adding some new names. JR CF Austin Grebeck, SR DH Steven Packard and SO OF/1B A.J. Balta have all moved into the top 10 in at least one category. Grebeck is fifth all-time in walks, while needing just one more triple and four more runs scored to crack the top 10. Balta is tied for fifth all-time in multiple-RBI games with 19. Packard is tied for ninth in doubles with 26, is 10th in starts with 121 and is tied for 10th in multiple RBI games with 13. JR INF Mark Karaviotis is also in the career record books, but he is redshirting after suffering an injury.
Two Ducks named to preseason All-America Teams: JR RHP Stephen Nogosek and SO LHP Matt Krook both earned spots on preseason All-America teams heading into the 2016 season. Nogosek claimed second-team honors from the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association and third-team recognition from Perfect Game, while Krook garnered third-team accolades from both the NCBWA and Collegiate Baseball.
Nogosek (Roseville, Calif. / Woodcreek H.S.) finished last season with a 6-3 record and a 2.02 ERA, while setting a school record with 39 appearances in his role as the set-up man for closer Garrett Cleavinger. The right-hander struck out 60 batters in 58.0 innings pitched and held opponents to an impressive .196 batting average in 2015. During his two seasons with the Ducks, Nogosek has compiled a 7-4 record with a 2.21 ERA in 56 appearances. The Ducks’ hurler has fanned 87 batters in 93.2 innings pitched while holding opposing hitters to a .218 average. Nogosek pitched for the U.S. National Team last summer and finished with a 1.69 ERA in six appearances. He struck out 11 and walked just one in 10.2 innings pitched, while holding opponents to a .200 batting average.
Krook (San Mateo, Calif. / St. Ignatius HS) was named to the team despite missing the entire 2015 season after injuring his elbow and having Tommy John surgery. The 6-foot-3 left-handed pitcher was Oregon’s Saturday starter in 2014 before suffering the injury at Washington on April 5 which forced him to also miss the remainder of that season. Before being sidelined, Krook compiled a 2-1 record with a 1.79 ERA in eight starts. He struck out 60 batters in 45.1 innings pitched, while holding opposing hitters to a .148 average. The Ducks’ sophomore was a first round pick (35th overall by the Miami Marlins) in the 2014 Major League Baseball draft. He claimed first-team freshman All-America honors following the 2014 season despite missing the final two months. He redshirted last year.
Five Ducks on D1Baseball.com’s list of college baseball’s top prospects: Two Duck juniors and three sophomores made D1Baseball.com’s list of top college draft prospects heading into the 2016 season. SO LHP Matt Krook (13), JR LHP Cole Irvin (58), and JR RHP Stephen Nogosek (112) all were ranked on the website’s list of top 300 prospects in the 2016 MLB Draft, while SO LHP David Peterson (10) and SO C Tim Susnara (61) were listed as one of the top 100 prospects for the 2017 MLB Draft. On the Pac-12 Conference breakdown of prospects, Krook was second, Irvin seventh and Nogosek 12th for this year’s draft, while Peterson was third and Susnara was 10th for next year’s draft.
Ducks picked fourth in preseason Pac-12 Coaches Poll: The Oregon Ducks are picked to finish fourth in the 2016 Pac-12 Preseason Baseball Coaches’ Poll. UO received 71 points behind only Oregon State, UCLA and California. The Ducks won 38 games in 2015 before ending their season at the Springfield (Mo.) Regional in the NCAA Tournament. Oregon returns seven starting position players off the 2015 team, and another starter off the 2014 squad who missed last season with an injury.
The Ducks, who lost closer Garrett Cleavinger (6-2, 9 saves, 37 appearances in 2015), should have a solid back end of the bullpen with the return of JR RHP Stephen Nogosek (6-3, 2.02 ERA, 39 appearances) and JR RHP Cooper Stiles (3-1, 3.56 ERA, 1 save in 26 appearances) off of last year’s team. Nogosek has made 54 appearances out of the bullpen during his first two seasons at Oregon and is expected to move into the closer role after playing for the Collegiate National Team last summer. The Ducks also return SR RHP Jack Karraker and SO RHP Brac Warren off of the 2015 team.
SR OF/1B Phil Craig-St. Louis, SR 3B Matt Eureste and SR OF Nick Catalano return to lead the team along with JR OF Austin Grebeck, JR INF Mark Karaviotis, SO OF/1B A.J. Balta, SO OF Jakob Goldfarb and SO C Tim Susnara. Craig-St.Louis batted .296 last season with two home runs and 38 RBI, while Karaviotis started 55 games at shortstop while hitting .270.
Ducks 26-17 all-time against ranked teams at PK Park: The Ducks have continued their success against ranked teams at PK Park this season with three wins in five games against nationally-ranked clubs. Oregon’s latest win came on April 27 when the Ducks handed No. 18 Oregon State a 7-6 loss in a nonconference Civil War game. UO also have wins over then-No. 9 California when the Bears visited Eugene April 8-10. The Ducks won two of three against the Golden Bears. It was the second straight series win against a ranked team in the last two seasons at PK Park for Oregon. The Ducks won the series over No. 2 UCLA to finish the 2015 regular season. On April 18, Oregon dropped an 11-10 decision to then-No. 22 Oregon State, but the Ducks have had success against ranked teams during the seven-plus seasons playing in the park. The Ducks have played 43 games against teams ranked in the Baseball America top-25 and compiled an impressive 26-17 record in those games.
Ducks schedule features 21 games against seven teams ranked in preseason polls: Once again Oregon heads into the season with a tough schedule. The Ducks will play 21 games against teams ranked in one of the six major college baseball polls, including 17 against teams ranked in the top 12 in at least one of the major polls. The Ducks play five games against Civil War rival Oregon State, with the Beavers ranking as high as fifth and no lower than eighth in the six polls. UO will host a three-game series against California with the Bears ranking in the top 10 in four of the polls, including a high of eighth in both the Baseball America and Perfect Game polls. The Ducks will travel to play defending Pac-12 champion UCLA in a three-game set with the Bruins heading into the season ranked between eighth and 10th in all six polls. Oregon’s first series against a team ranked in the top 25 of the preseason polls comes when it travels to Mississippi State during the season’s fourth weekend. The Bulldogs are ranked as high as 11th and as low as 20th. USC will travel to Eugene for three games in mid-April and the Trojans head into the season ranked in four of the six polls with D1Baseball.com ranking them the highest at 12th. Oregon visits Notre Dame, who is ranked 24th by Perfect Game and 27th by Collegiate Baseball, for a single game on March 31. The Ducks opening weekend opponent, San Diego State, is 36th in Collegiate Baseball’s top 40 preseason ranking.
Ducks will play 19 TV games: The Ducks will make 19 appearances on television during the 2016 regular season. Seven of the team’s 27 games at PK Park will be broadcast by the Pac-12 Networks while six of the Ducks’ 10 Pac-12 series will have at least two of the three games televised. The Pac-12 Networks will broadcast two of the three games at PK Park against Utah (March 18 & 20), the three-game series at Washington (March 24-26), the three-game set at UCLA (April 21-23), all three games against Arizona (May 20-22) and the three-game season-ending series at Stanford (May 26-28). Oregon’s three-game conference series at Oregon State (May 13-15) will also be broadcast with ESPNU televising the Friday and Saturday games, while the Pac-12 Networks will broadcast the series finale. In all, five Civil War games against Oregon State will be televised with the Pac-12 Networks broadcasting non-conference games in Eugene on April 18 and April 22.
Horton to manage 2016 Collegiate National Team; Karraker will serve as bullpen coach: USA Baseball announced the 2016 Collegiate National Team coaching staff, including the naming of George Horton as manager. Horton will take charge of the Collegiate National Team for the first time in his career after serving as an assistant coach in 2012. Horton is entering his eighth season as the head coach at the University of Oregon where he holds a 261-169-1 overall record, including a school-record 48-win season in 2013. Horton has led the Ducks to the NCAA Regionals the last four years and five times in seven seasons. He was named the Field Turf NCAA Division I Coach of the Year in 2012 and was an assistant coach on the 2012 USA Baseball Collegiate National Team. Prior to taking over at Oregon, Horton spent 11 seasons at Cal State Fullerton and led the Titans to a National Championship in 2004. He has taken his teams to the College World Series six times, was named the National Coach of the Year by Baseball America in 2003, and has seen 120 of his players selected in the Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft. Rounding out the 2016 Collegiate National Team coaching staff is bullpen coach Mitch Karraker, who has been a part of the Oregon baseball program since 2009. He was a catcher for the Ducks from 2009-2011 and coached the Klamath Falls Gems in the West Coast Summer League for two seasons.