No. 4 Stanford (24-6, 10-2 Pac-12) opens its series with Oregon (22-13, 7-5 Pac-12) tonight in Eugene. With a one-game lead over No. 1 UCLA (28-6, 9-3 Pac-12) for first place in the conference standings, the Cardinal will look to sweep the Ducks to maintain the pace atop the Pac-12 heading into the second half of the conference season.
Oregon is ranked No. 29 in the NCAA RPI coming into the series, having won six of their last seven, and sit at fifth in the Pac-12 standings. A season ago, the Ducks won the opener in Sunken Diamond but fell in the final two games as the Cardinal captured a series win on the way to the conference championship.
“Oregon is a quality opponent this weekend,” Stanford Head Coach David Esquer said. “We need to bring all parts of our game to be the type of team we want to be.”
Stanford holds a 28-17 record all-time against the Ducks, including a 16-14 edge in games played since baseball returned to Oregon for the 2009 season, and have won nine of the last ten meetings.
Spencer Steer (.356/.438/.470) leads the Ducks offensively, with five home runs, 32 RBI and 77 total bases. Steer has gone 7-for-21 with three doubles, three RBI, two runs, five walks and two HBP in his career against Stanford. Oregon’s Cameron Campbell (.217/.445/.313) leads the Pac-12 in OBP in conference games, reaching base at a .610 clip.
Oregon’s pitching staff carries a 5.14 ER, with no starter below 3.50 and TBA listed for each of their starters.
Stanford, meanwhile, is ranked fourth in the nation with a 2.83 ERA. The Cardinal will likely throw sophomore RHP Brendan Beck (2-2, 1.98 ERA) on Thursday and junior LHP Erik Miller (4-0, 2.43 ERA) on Saturday. If Esquer has not made any changes to the rotation since last week, which appears to be the case after sophomore LHP Jacob Palisch (2-1, 5.09 ERA) entered in a relief appearance on Tuesday, junior RHP Will Matthiessen (2-1, 4.03 ERA) will start on Friday.
Matthiessen (.355/.437/.570), the DH when he is not pitching, leads the team in average, slugging, on-base percentage, multi-hit games, RBI, double and total bases. In conference play, junior first baseman Andrew Daschbach (.283/.371/.443) leads the team in average, slugging, on-base percentage, runs, hits and total bases.
The series opens at 7 p.m. PST on Thursday, resumes Friday at 4 p.m. PST and concludes with Saturday’s noon finale.
Contact Daniel Martinez-Krams at danielmk ‘at’ stanford.edu.