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Inside Oregon, With Predictions: Can the Ducks Recapture Magic in 2024?

By Mark Garland

If you were hidden in a hole last year during the five months of college baseball season, let me recap a bit for you!

The Oregon Ducks were one of the hottest teams in the country heading into the NCAA Tournament! Winning the PAC-12 postseason tournament and getting a 2 seed, they headed to Vanderbilt, where they won the Nashville Regional.

Head Coach Mark Wasikowski and his Ducks unfortunately ran into a streaking Oral Roberts team in a home Super Regional and just missed Omaha. The atmosphere in PK park was one of the most electric ball parks I’ve ever been in! If the injury bug held off the arms, it just may have been a different story. Fast forward now to 2024, a healthy and eager Duck team looks to make noise again!

Feb (5-2) Month (5-2) Overall (0-0) PAC-12

The Ducks start off in Arlington, TX, with two tough games and Baylor. I think they beat Oklahoma but struggle with the bats of Texas Tech, going 2-1. Next up, they take on Lafayette at home in a four-game series. I can see a way the Ducks sweep this series, but I think the more realistic outcome is a 3-1, finishing off the month and getting ready to head into PAC-12 play!

March (15-4) Month (20-6) OVR (7-2) PAC-12

So, in a non-conference battle between two teams with aspirations of hosting in June, the Ducks take on UCSB, a highly-rated team due to its terrific arms. I think UCSB takes two of three, but they are really good games and learning opportunities for the Ducks, 1-2. Then I think the Ducks take both games at Grand Canyon University, 2-0.

Headed over to ASU for the opening PAC-12 series, I see the Ducks surprising a very good Sun Devil team and taking two out of three, 2-1. Then, a home game against the University of Portland Pilots, and I think U of O takes this one, 1-0. Then, stay at home for a three-game set versus Cal, and I think the Ducks take two of three from a scrappy Golden Bears team, 2-1. That is followed up with another home PAC-12 series against Arizona. I’m looking at this as a time the Ducks sweep the Wildcats in Eugene, 3-0! Last up to finish off March is a four-game set against Seattle University. I think these are good games, but there's just too much Oregon Duck offense in a four-game sweep, 4-0.

April (11-7) Month (31-13) OVR (13-8) PAC-12

April starts off with a road game at the University of Portland, and I think the Pilots take this one at home, 0-1. Following that is a three-game series at UCLA. I think the road trip here is a bit much, but I do believe the Ducks take a game in LA, 1-2. A two-game set with Sacramento State at PK Park is next and proves to be exactly what the Ducks need to get rolling, taking both games, 2-0.

Then, a three-game home conference series follows, against a really good USC Trojan team. I think USC is really good this year, but I believe the Ducks at home take two of three and win the series, 2-1. A midweek battle with Gonzaga is less of that and more a lopsided tune-up before the Stanford series, 1-0. The Ducks then head to Stanford, and I believe they’ll take two of three at the Sunken Diamond, 2-1. Staying in California, a midweek game at San Francisco goes the way of the University of Oregon, 1-0. A three-game league series in Corvallis is next, and I believe the Beavers get the best of this one, with Oregon winning the Tuesday game for a 2-2 split to finish off April.

May (12-6) Month (43-19) OVR (20-10) Pac12

The May schedule begins with a home set versus Utah, and I believe fresh off a win at home against the Beavers, the Ducks take all three for a sweep, 3-0. Then, it's time to head up to Seattle, where the Ducks struggle against a battle-tested and veteran team, losing two of three to the Washington Huskies, 1-2.

All this sets up a home finale versus the Washington State Cougars! I think it’s a battle but the Ducks, on the bubble of hosting conversation, take a series sweep against the Cougars (finishing the regular season just behind OSU and USC), 3-0.

The PAC-12 tournament then begins, and the Ducks, a 3 seed, win both round robin games but lose to USC in the Semifinal, 2-1.

Overall, I think the Ducks just miss out on hosting an NCAA regional and are a 2 seed heading into the tournament. Coach Waz has this team on the rise, and with a healthy pitching staff and being only one win away from Omaha a year ago, this Duck team is begging for a chance at redemption! Who knows what the post season holds, possibly another thrilling Super Regional with a chance at being Omaha bound. Any way you look at it, I think it’s going to be an exciting season for the Oregon Ducks!


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