2012 Record: 46-19
2012 Finish: Oregon was one of the more surprising teams in the country last season finishing with a 46-19 record and going a respectable 19-11 in conference. The Ducks blew through their Regional bid defeating Austin Peay and Cal State Fullerton while racking up 21 runs in the three games. They fell just short of a trip to Omaha when media-darling Kent State came into town and took two games from the Ducks, ending their run.
The Ducks enter 2013 ranked No. 6 in the country and for a good reason. Although they lose Thomas Brett, who led the team with a .313 batting average, the Ducks return seven position players that started last season.
Of those returners, junior Ryon Healy will lead the way for the 2013 squad. Healy hit .312 last season and a team-high 79 hits and 42 RBIs. Adding strength and experience to the infield are Aaron Payne and J.J. Altobelli, who combined for a .271 batting average. Payne also led the team with a 16 stolen bases on 22 attempts.
The Ducks will have a solid starting rotation led by Jake Reed and Jeff Gold, who both went 8-4 last season and a combined ERA of 3.29. The Bullpen is anchored by first-team Preseason All-American Jimmie Sherfy, who appeared in 36 games last season, boasting a 2.20 ERA and a team-high 93 strikeouts with 19 saves.
It is a safe bet to consider Oregon a contender for the Pac-12 crown this season as well as a team that could end up in Omaha. Solid pitching and a strong offense is usually a good recipe, and the Ducks have just that.
Key Series: The 2013 schedule works very favorably for Oregon with the Pac 12’s best traveling to Eugene to play. Look for the series against Arizona early in the conference season to give you an idea of how good the Ducks really are. Arizona lost a lot of offense from its 2012 team, but who can count out the defending champs? This should be a good test for the Ducks.