Baseball: Oregon vs Austin Peay Preview


It was a rough weekend for the Ducks. While the Civil War was dominated by Oregon State this season, it’s time to focus on the second part of the season. Autzen Zoo has already covered the overall picture of the Eugene Regional, but here’s a more in-depth look between the Oregon Ducks and the Austin Peay Governors.

Game 2: (4)Austin Peay Governors (38-22) vs (1)Oregon Ducks (42-17)
@PK Park; Eugene, Oregon

Time – 6:00 p.m. PT (approx.) / TV – None / Web –

Oregon gave up the lead in the first two games; lost on a double play at home plate in the ninth inning when the base runner was 90 feet away to begin the at-bat and the Beavers pulled away in the other two. Despite all that, having an RPI of six (Boyd’s World) and playing in the third-toughest conference was all they needed to receive the fifth overall national seed and be one of the select 16 schools to host in the regional.

An hour after the first game is over, they will be playing in their first hosted regional against Ohio Valley Conference champion, Austin Peay.

Essentially, a one seed against a four seed is equivalent to a one or two seed playing a 15 or 16 seed in the basketball tournament. The Governors had to come in winning their conference tournament and their RPI clocks in at 123, but one thing that they do have in their favor is confidence and momentum.

What happened at Corvallis doesn’t define what the Ducks did overall, but this is what’s tough about the Pac-12 not having an official conference tournament. Losing in heartbreaking fashion to the in-state rival, let alone getting swept, puts the team in a vulnerable light that both the media and fans shine as they go through their nit-pickings of the team.

That being said, the pitching needs to get back into focus. Likely starter Alex Keudell, the official Pac-12 pitcher of the year, will be on the mound and has the talents to silence Austin Peay like he’s done with other smaller schools. A hard advantage at bullpen, defense, and fielding are ways that they can suffocate the Governors from getting anything going. Oregon, as a team, has only given up a 3.02 ERA (14th best nationally), 7.19 hits an inning (second-best nationally), and .980 fielding average (sixth-best nationally). All of those stats are best in the Pac-12.

Scouting the Governors

If anyone is going to put a dent in the Oregon pitching staff, it will be one of these three guys: Greg Bachman, Jordan Hankins, and Reed Harper. All three have batting averages in the .330’s and similar in many categories. Bachman has been the power with 16 homers, but has also taken 39 strikeouts. Hankins is all-around terrific with 63 RBIs, taken 37 walks, and only has struck out 13 times. His on-base percentage (.443) is also the best of the team. Harper has about half of the other twos’ RBIs, but he is someone to watch on the bases (9-13 in stolen bases).

Oregon will have their hands full with the probable starting pitcher, Zach Toney. He’s the overall best with a 2.89 ERA. Giving up just 63 hits and nailing 82 strikeouts, his walk count is rather high at 44. If he can keep the Ducks off the board, they will likely see the best bullpen pitcher, and closer, Tyler Rogers. Similar to Toney’s numbers, Rogers also can sometimes have a problem controlling the ball (18 of 201 batters have been hit by a pitch).

Record-Shattering Season for the Ducks

If getting one of the eight national seeds isn’t enough to show how successful the season was, at least Oregon can look at the record book. Among them, five big-time stats were hit by the team and their fans.

  • Overall wins: 42
  • Conference play: 19 wins and a (bittersweet) third-place finish
  • Most wins by a pitcher: Alex Keudell (10)
  • Most saves by a pitcher: Jimmie Sherfy (17)
  • PK Park Attendance Record: 3,892 vs California on April 28th (helps that the game immediately followed the spring football game)

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