The Ducks have faced some adversity on the diamond over the last week, losing two of three games to No. 15 Arizona State. Their schedule doesn’t get any easier as they are in the middle of a 19-day, 14-game marathon. Facing off against UC Riverside for a two game series before continuing Pac-12 play against Arizona, the Ducks will need to find the magic they had to start the season.
Key to that success will be the play of junior Matt Eureste who has been a dynamic asset for the Ducks. The transfer student from San Jacinto College in Pasadena, TX, also saw playing time briefly as a freshman at Texas Tech. A two-sport varsity letter winner in high school — also playing defensive back — the incredibly talented Eureste has put on a show both at the plate and in the field this year.
Eureste has tremendous skill at the plate, leading the Ducks in batting average (.290), hits (27), doubles (5) and stolen bases (5). Not only has he been productive for the Ducks, he has also been consistent as the only player to start all 23 games this season.
Even while hitting at the top of the order, a position that has helped ensure he will have plenty of appearances, he has also managed to sit in second place on the team with 15 RBIs behind Brandon Cuddy (20).
The Ducks baseball team we saw during their eight-game winning streak are the Ducks that will need to be ready against UC Riverside tonight. After finding their groove in the final game against ASU, the Ducks have a chance to flex their muscle before heading to Arizona for the first time since 2012. The baseball season is a marathon, not a sprint and the Ducks have hit their first wall. If they can build on their momentum from their last win, however, Eureste and the Ducks will be a dangerous force in the Pac-12.
Top Photo by Dave Peaks