Matchup of the Week for March 8th: #2 Vanderbilt at #11 Oregon
There is a ton of great college baseball action this weekend across the country, but the most intriguing matchup has to be the East/West showdown between the #2 Vanderbilt Commodores and #11 Oregon Ducks being played in Eugene.
Both schools have really solidified themselves as top notch programs over the past several years, with Oregon making NCAA Tournament appearances twice since Duck’s baseball was brought back in 2009, and Vanderbilt earning a spot in the postseason 8 out of the last 9 years, including a College World Series berth in 2011.
Considering many teams play a ‘soft’ out-of-conference schedule, it’s great to see a matchup like this at this point in the season. Oregon swept the series played between these two teams in Nashville last season, so the Commodores will be looking for revenge on the Duck’s home turf.
With the Duck’s and Commodores’ 2013 recruiting classes being ranked at #6 and #14 respectively by Perfect Game, it seems both of these programs will continue on their rise and could meet again in the postseason for years to come.
Preview from the home team at GoDucks.com:
Quick Hits: Big three-game series this weekend as
No. 2 Vanderbilt comes to town to play the 15th-ranked Ducks.
Oregon has won three straight after a pair of wins earlier this
week against Cal State Northridge. The Ducks swept a three-game
series against the Commodores last season in Nashville. In that
series, Scott Heineman paced Oregon batting .400 with a home run
and four RBI. Aaron Payne hit .273 with three runs scored, two
stolen bases and two RBI. The Ducks pressured Vanderbilt on the
base paths during the series stealing six bases in eight attempts.
On the mound, current Ducks Jake Reed and Brando Tessar each picked
up wins over Vandy, while Jimmie Sherfy had two saves striking out
six in 4.2 innings. Oregon batted just .209 as a team in Nashville,
but the pitching staff finished the three-game series with a low
Oregon heads into the weekend behind a pitching staff
that has been strong over the first 13 games. The starters have
combined for a 2.66 ERA, while the entire staff has a 2.58 ERA
through 13 games. Jake Reed, Cole Irvin, Tommy Thorpe and Jeff Gold
have combined for six quality starts in the 13 games, with Irvin (a
true freshman) accounting for three of those. The Ducks’ bullpen
has six saves with Sherfy accounting for four of those and
Christian Jones and Garrett Cleavinger getting one save each.
Vanderbilt is riding an 11-game winning streak with its only loss
coming in the third game of the season against Long Beach State.
The Commodores are hitting .324 as a team with 10 home runs, while
the pitching staff has a 2.07 ERA with 135 strike outs in 126
innings. Vince Conde leads Vanderbilt with a .413 batting average,
while six other Commodores are hitting over .300. This weekend’s
three scheduled starters all have ERAs under 1.45 on the
For Vanderbilt’s sake, hopefully they won’t see another play from Oregon’s pitchers like this one:
Who do you think will take the series?