Oregon Ducks Baseball Is Back: Observations from the St. Mary's Series
When I first heard baseball was coming back to the University of Oregon I was ecstatic. I was upset that the first season had to start the year after I graduated, but was just happy to see baseball back.
When the schedule was announced, I realized I would only have to drive two or three minutes down the street to watch the Ducks play their first baseball series in 28 years.
I attended the second Saturday game, and here are some things I took away from the game:
Since uniforms are always a topic of conversation with Oregon sports I will give some details.
Oregon was wearing the grey jerseys with green pinstripes. The tops were cut-off sleeves with Oregon in green on the front, with a green undershirt. The team was wearing grey hats with Green O's on the front and with Ducks on the back.
I personally thought they looked great and were a good mix of classic baseball jerseys with newer style jerseys.
The turnout was great by Ducks fans, and the first base side was packed full. The stadium does not have a lot of seating and the weather didn't make it feel like baseball should be starting already, but Duck fans seemed to be excited and did a great job cheering on the team.
The field conditions were not great—the outfield was very soft and a few times the ball didn't roll at all after hitting the outfield. It didn't look too muddy, but a few extra bases were added or subtracted depending on where the ball was hit.
I expected the team to struggle offensively, have good pitching, and make the few mistakes a young team with no college baseball experience would make. The team met these expectations, and I am confident the team will continue to improve over the course of the season.
The team looked to be enjoying themselves and were putting in a good effort on the field.
Two things I saw that could have impacted the outcome of the game—they should get better in upcoming games—was defense and clutch hitting.
On one outfield hit by St. Marys, I saw an outfielder take a very poor route to the ball that could have been caught if he got a better read on it.
With practice and seeing more live balls in future months, this problem should correct itself.
In the eighth inning, the Ducks were only down two runs and had the bases loaded with one out. It was disappointing to see the great situation lead to no runs. Clutch hitting will come in time, but this may continue to be a problem as the season moves forward.
Looking at the Ducks' schedule I feel they can get somewhere in the range of 15 to 20 wins, possibly with more depending on how much the Ducks improve and how much other teams have improved since last year.
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