Duck club baseball team sweeps Seattle, remains undefeated
SALEM, Ore. - The Duck club baseball team seems unstoppable.
The Ducks often get behind a few points early in a game, which leads their opponent to get pumped up.
But inevitably the opponent's hopes are crushed by the Ducks' confidence and smooth execution, which leads inevitably to another Duck victory.
The Ducks remain undefeated, with a record of 15-0, one of only two teams nationally with no losses.
This past weekend the Ducks swept the Seattle University club team in three games, 8-2, 11-4, and 9-0.
Before the three-game sweep, the Ducks were ranked 7th nationally. This weekend's performance could elevate them into the top five.
Team Coordinator Mikey Finneran attributes their winning streak to good players and team cohesion.
"We had a lot of good returners come out," said Finneran, a sophomore in his second year on the team, "and a lot of new talent come in this year. We've really been able to execute, both hitting and on defense. There is lot of good camaraderie. It's a great team all around."
During the first game on Saturday at Keiser Stadium in Salem, Dustin Ouellette drove in Nate Kristoff and Pat Canepa with a double. Ouellette continued to run up the score with a triple in the fourth inning, driving in two more runs. The final score was 8-2.
In the second game of the Saturday double header, Max Morrison drove in two runs with single, but Seattle managed to pull ahead by two runs, 4 to 2. In the third inning the Ducks came alive, with Dustin Ouellette hitting a double followed by Max Morrison driving in two runs with a home run to right field. Tallack Graser added to the score with a triple.
In the fifth inning the Ducks scored seven runs with Travis Reed, Tallack Graser, Jason Ross, Max Morrison, Dustin Ouellette, Miles Lewis and Nate Kristoff all crossing home plate. The final score was Ducks 11, Seattle 4.
Finneran, the team coordinator, said coming from behind was not a concern to the team. "Our team has built a lot of confidence off their success this year. We just stay calm and collected, even when we're behind in the score. We can execute. And we came make up the lead."
The third game was a route by the Ducks, with a final score of 9-0.
Next week the Ducks will make up the rained out game series against Western Washington. Instead of having to return to Bellingham to make up the games, the University of Oregon Athletic Department has offered to let the series be played in Eugene at PK Park.
Finneran feels good about the team's chances in the final conference game. "We were able to play one inning during the rainout, and we showed we can hit them. I think we're going to come out with wins, and then be the conference champions."
After the three-game series against Western Washington next weekend, the Ducks travel to La Grande, Oregon, to play in the Northern Pacific Conference Regional Playoffs May 10th, 11th and 12th.
If they are victorious in La Grande, they earn the right to represent the University of Oregon in the NCBA World Series Tournament in Tampa, Florida.