Duck Baseball Preview

Duck Baseball Preview
February 12, 2013, 2:15 pm
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Team Release
The Oregon Ducks are picked to finish fourth in the 2013 Pac- 12 Preseason Baseball Coaches’ Poll. UO received 73 points behind only preseason
favorite Stanford, UCLA and Oregon State.

The Ducks won a school-record 46 games in 2012 before ending their season in the Super Regional in Eugene. UO returns seven position player starters this season
behind a pitching staff that features four returning starters and an All-American reliever.

The University of Oregon opens the 2013 baseball season with a four-game series starting this Friday at the University
of Hawaii.

First pitch scheduled for 8:05 p.m. on both Friday and Saturday, and 3:05 p.m. on Sunday and
Ducks open home schedule Feb. 22 vs. Loyola Marymount in a three game series at 6 p.m. at PK Park. The
Ducks and Lions will also play single games Saturday (Feb. 23) at 2 p.m. and Sunday (Feb.
24) at Noon.

The three-game series against LMU is the beginning of a 29-game home schedule for the Ducks which includes five Pac-12 series. UO hosts Arizona, Washington, UCLA,
Stanford and Oregon State in league play.

The Ducks also entertain nationally-ranked Vanderbilt March 8-10 at PK Park. The Commodores are ranked as high as second in the nation and are in the top five in four of the
five preseason polls.

 The Ducks return a wealth of experience in the field with eight players who started at least 18 games in 2012 returning as probable starters in 2013. Oregon returns its entire infield with first baseman Ryan Healy (65 starts), second baseman Aaron Payne (65 starts), third baseman Ryan Hambright (25 starts) and shortstop J.J. Altobelli (51 starts) combining to start 206 games last season.

UO’s projected starting eight behind the Ducks’ pitchers and the designated hitter have combined to start 362 games last season if Shaun Chase starts behind the plate. Scott Heineman moves to centerfield after starting 27 games at third base in 2012, while Brett Thomas is back in left field after making 53 starts last season. Kyle Garlick will open the season at DH for Oregon after splitting his 58 starts last season between right field and the DH position.

Steven Packard will get the starting nod in right field, and though he was not on the team in 2012 while finishing a two-year church mission, he is experienced with 45 starts as a true freshman in 2010.

Oregon’s pitching staff features a nice blend of experience and youth. The Ducks’ four projected starters for the Hawaii series feature two pitchers (Jake Reed, Jeff Gold) who combined to start 30 games in 2012, while the other two starters have a combined one start between them. The Ducks’ bullpen is also deep and talented. Jimmy Sherfy is on the watch list for the Stopper of the Year award, while freshman Garrett Cleavinger will share short relief duties with Sherfy, a returning All-American. Christian Jones, who headed into last season as a top of the rotation starter, will open the season in the bullpen after recovering from an elbow injury that forced him to miss the entire 2012 season. Jones will bring experience to the bullpen with 13 career starts, along with Brando Tessar who started nine games last season before suffering an injury. Cole Wiper, Darrell Hunter also expect to contribute with key innings.

Probable Starters
C-Graham/ Chase 1B-Ryon Healy 2B-Aaron Payne 3B-Ryan Hambright SS-J.J. Altobelli LF-Brett Thomas CF-Scott Heineman RF-Steven Packard DH-Kyle Garlick
* Chase started 25 games in 2012 Finished second on team in hitting Led Ducks with 16 stolen bases Started 19 of last 21 games at 3B Started 51 games in 2012

Starting Pitchers 
Jake Reed Tommy Thorpe Cole Irvin Jeff Gold

Jimmie Sherfy Garrett Cleavinger Christian Jones Cole Wiper Darrell Hunter Brando Tessar

Ducks coming off best season in program history:
Oregon heads into the 2013 season with momentum thanks to a record-setting 2012 campaign. The Ducks finished the season last year with a school
record 46 wins and the school’s first ever Super Regional appearance in the modern era.

Senior Alex Keudell’s 11 wins set a new UO single-season record, and he was the
first Duck in program history to be named Pac-12 Pitcher of the Year. Sophomore  Jimmy Sherfy’s 19 saves set new Oregon
single-season and all-time records, and ranked second in the nation.