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The Eugene Super Regional Preview


By Mark Garland


Oral Roberts showed up in Stillwater, OK, for its NCAA baseball regional with only one thing on their mind, and that was winning. Winning is a thing this team has done a lot, going 49-11 this season and really showing up consistently every weekend. They started the Regional off with a win against host and #11 Oklahoma State, before an 8-run comeback vs Washington resulted in a 15-12 victory. Last, it would be Dallas Baptist’s chance to catch smoke from this fiery Golden Eagle team, as Oral would win 6-5, sweeping the Regional. It was tough for a 4 seed to do, but they pulled it off and now get ready to head to Eugene, OR, for a Super Regional matchup with the Oregon Ducks.


The strength of this team is that eight players in this lineup are hitting over .300 and have some power to match. This is a team that can bang the ball around the yard and is good with runners in scoring position. Additionally, the entire pitching staff is full of arms ready to roll out sub-3.00 ERAs with a pair of great starting pitchers. The weakness, if any, for the Golden Eagles is the lack of big game experience. Going across the country to the Pacific Northwest might be the biggest challenge for Oral Roberts!


The X-Factor for Oral Roberts on offense has to be Jonah Cox. He hit .424 with 10 home runs, 65 RBI and stole 27 bags this season. He is an elite talent at the dish and will be the catalyst for this offense. The X-Factor on the pitching side is starting pitcher Jakob Hall, who is 8-3 with a 3.25 ERA. He has an impressive 1.09 Whip and 87 to 15 k/bb ratio. I look for him to battle the Ducks' lineup.


As for Oregon, they took a trip to Nashville as the 2-seed in the Vanderbilt Regional. The Ducks started off beating Xavier 5-4 with timely pitching and just enough runs. They took down #6 Vanderbilt next, in an impressive 8-7 game with great defense and just enough pitching. That win over Vandy set up a Sunday night Regional Final, where they beat Xavier handily by a score of 11-2 to secure a spot in the Super Regional. PK Park is a beautiful venue and will be full of fans this weekend. I can’t wait to see how the atmosphere is in Eugene as the Ducks host a Super.


The biggest question for Oregon is whether they have enough pitching to battle this potent offense of the Golden Eagles. There are lots of question marks and injured arms for this pitching staff, but Matt Dallas is my Ducks pitching X-Factor, as he’s come out of the 'pen several times to shut opponents down late in games.


The biggest upside for Oregon is their offense and playing at home in a ballpark where they truly smash. Jacob Walsh is my Oregon offense X-Factor, as he can change games with one swing of his bat. The sophomore first baseman has elite power and is a tough out in this ballpark.


Game 1 is set for 5 pm west coast time

Game 2 is set for 6 pm

Game 3, if needed, TBD.


Look for a fun and offensive series in Eugene for a trip to Omaha for one of these clubs.


*****

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