Oregon 2nd baseman Mitchell Tolman earned his 100th RBI on Tuesday night, when he drove a moonshot to right and brought both himself and fellow infielder Matt Eureste across the plate. The All-Pac-12 junior needed only three innings to put an end to a two and a half week ribby drought that had left him perched at an infuriatingly incomplete 99 for eight full games. Initially a walk-on whose most noteworthy trait was an ability to bat left-handed, he now ranks an impressive 3rd on Oregon’s all-time list in both multi-RBI games and total RBI, despite only having completed two full seasons with the Ducks.
And he’s only getting better from here. The kid still boasts a .316 batting average, and though he’s currently on pace to finish with slightly fewer than last year’s 49 RBI, Tolman’s offensive utility is undeniable. His .486 OBP is something coaches rarely expect from a hitter who slugs .468, partially a symptom of the fact that Tolman also ranks third in UO history in hit by pitch bases, and an unsurprising fifth in intentional passes. That staggering .954 OPS makes the unrecruited California kid the biggest surprise in Oregon sports since the (not) Statue of Liberty in Ann Arbor.
Tolman didn’t waste any time on Tuesday, blasting his one-out-one-on homer in his second plate appearance, and he stayed hot all night. All-told he ushered three Ducks home, three times as many as he’d brought in through his last 13 games combined, and scored three times himself, going 4 for 6 including a clutch double that helped set up Oregon’s go-ahead 13th.
Top Photo: Dave Peaks