UPDATE: LHP Christian Jones (0.00 ERA, 6 IP in three appearances from the bullpen) has been named Oregon’s starter for Tuesday’s game.
After wrangling runs in the strangest ways possible over the past week, the Oregon Ducks (6-1) will look to straighten things out as they play a quick one game series against in-state rival Portland (2-6) in PK Park on Tuesday night.
Portland had a rough opening series, as the Pilots traveled to Starkville, Miss. to take on the then #5 Mississippi State Bulldogs from the SEC. As anyone might have guessed, it wasn’t a very pretty opening series for the Pilots, as Mississippi State clobbered Portland and took all four games of the series. The run differential in the series was a whopping +28 in favor of the Bulldogs.
Portland bounced back after their opening series with wins against Seattle University and Utah Valley.
Oregon simply does not have the offense to put up sixteen runs like Mississippi State did on any sort of consistent basis, but the Oregon hitters should be able to finally get some traditional RBIs in this midweek contest. A key to the game (or any game this season, for that matter) will be Oregon’s ability to not just get runners on base, but to get quality at bats, which means taking plenty of pitches, working at bats deep into the count, and executing with runners in scoring position.
When the Ducks are in the field, things are a little up in the air. Starting pitcher (and the usual #4 pitcher) Jeff Gold left his last outing early after getting drilled in the ankle by a comebacker. His status is unknown at the moment, and naming him the starter here would be nothing beyond speculation. Lefty Jordan Spencer (1-0) is the most likely replacement for Gold if he can’t go.
If you have nothing to do tomorrow night, bundle up and head out to PK Park to check out your Oregon baseball team before they head to Southern California for a series with perennial powerhouse, and top-25 ranked Cal State Fullerton.