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Dawgs Cook Ducks, Take Series 2-1 In Pac-12 Opener

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Game 18, DH 1: St. Paddy's Saturday, March 17th | Gamecast | Box Score | Season Statistics

(12-5) #17 Oregon 0 | 6 | 1 | 7

(12-6) Washington 5 | 8 | 0 | 4

W - RHP T. Davis (1-0) 6 IP | 3 H | 0 R | 1 BB | 1 K

CG L - RHP Jake Reed (1-2) 8 IP | 8 H | 5 R | 4 ER | 2 BB | 3 K | 3 FO | 17 GO

Game 19 DH 2: " | Gamecast | Box Score | team page

(13-5) #17 Oregon 3 | 4 | 1 | 5

(12-7) Washington 2 | 10 | 1 | 10 - this still blows me away...

W - RHP J. Sherfy (3-0) 6.2 IP | 4 H | 1 R | 1 ER | 1 BB | 6 K | 1 HBP

L - RHP A. Cimber (0-1) 3.2 IP | 1 H | 1 R | 0 ER | 0 BB | 0 K

Guess what? Tyler Davis did fool the zeroes with his curveball, to the tune of 3 hits spread over six scoreless innings, with the Dawgpen shutting the back door to complete the shutout. Talk about a debut start on the bump. He also just so happens to be the first lucky Dawg with his picture at the top of a national article featuring the Washington Baseball team. Tyler, Davis, red hair, obvious Isles-mutt genetics, St. Paddy's Day.... Beginner's luck is real my friends, I can't make this stuff up.

Washington outscored Oregon 13-3 in the first two games, without so much as a sign of competition from the egg layers, who were doing what they do best, laying 21 eggs in a row (egg: a zero on the scoreboard) before finally scoring a run in game three!

Karma will always balance itself out (even if you don't believe just play along), consequently taking a win away from Austin Voth in the second game. Voth lead the team in wins before the weekend, yet had below average stats that didn't match the results. How? The offense picked him up big when facing No. 3 SP's. His command was inconsistent while throwing hard, missing high far too many times to be comfortable with his fly ball out numbers, yet still managed to get the job done to his credit. That was the old Voth: meet the new Voth with some better mechanics.

Voth had a no hitter going into the 6th while only allowing a walk to lead off the game, by far the best start for either team all weekend. Oregon looked deflated after losing the opening two games, making themselves easy targets for a focused Voth. Everything was working well, his velocity was cookin' combined with crisp command from staying "on top" of his fastball finally. The subtle changes to mechanics are beginning to be seen across the board.

No, it was Karma's turn to throw a curveball, spinning a Shakespearean twist upon the final hours of our glorious merriment in the stands, as the sun started to fade behind swollen clouds just beyond reach over the lake. I bet Phil himself hit the "donate" button on the Karma blog; curse you, shoes with swoops.

Washington dropped the W on the infield dirt without enough time left to catch the webfooted bandits before they waddled back to the bus with it, spoiling the sweep. You should have seen how excited they were after the 2 RBI double to take the lead in the 6th after Voth walked and beaned consecutive batters.

If someone had watched this series not knowing who the ranked team was, they would have been dismayed to learn it was the zeroes after seeing them side by side; all homerism aside, I honestly was. If that is the Coaches' Poll No. 13 team in the country as of this morning (school/coach brown-nosing to Nike at its finest) I'm a blind man who never played baseball. With that standard the Dawgs are easily a top 10 team.

The bats tied it up in the 9th for the Huskies with another superb pinch-hit for Wiggins, who pulled a line drive single over 3B with two outs to even the score, only to watch Cimber & the gloves drop the ball in the 13th.

I just had to mention the fact the Dawgs had played brilliant defense after the Friday win; couldn't keep my fingers quiet... I must say Lamb had a great series with the glove though, making some great plays, including the defensive play of the game Saturday.

Roast duck by the flock to be served after the stretch...

Winning Fact: The Dawgs absolutely crushed the *ucks in the eye test. I honestly believe Oregon Head Coach Horton wants skinny, quick players; the zeroes looked like a high school team playing grown men. Memories of the Stanford - UW offensive lines this winter came to mind, only UW is the big bully finally.

I am a believer in rotational & lateral strength training like what the Mariners are doing with their minor league system. It's smart science, combining the best of old and new. Geoff Baker kindly supplied this information yesterday upon request, proving even the big boys use the system in concert with traditional workouts (weight training). You still gain muscle mass working out that way, it just takes more time to build dense muscle mass, which is my only explanation for the quacklings appearance (Nike baseball research is in line with this philosophy). And before anyone points to the M's offensive woes, understand this system benefits pitchers faster, physical change takes time (especially when retraining muscle memory), and no training regime in the universe can turn below average major leaguers into all stars. Genetics and talent cannot be taught; Washington has pro frames with strong builds, Oregon has young saplings in '11 that need time to fill out.

With a couple exceptions, the zero pounders were all very skinny. I understand why they have so many stolen bases and doubles now: most of them don't have enough upper or lower body strength to hit the ball very far consistently. This was the twiggiest group of calve muscles I've seen since the last Comic-Con show on G4, mullets included. If you could only see what Caleb Brown's calves look like compared to the quackers... think Popeye before and after his spinach.

That is what happens when you never take the stairs, pure and simple; winners work, losers take the elevator. The *ucks will live and die in 2012 with pitching just like '11. Phil should have given them protein bars instead of those ugly, neon yellow trim cleats.

Game 18, DH 1 Recap: 4 RBI | 2 BB | 3 K

Weather: high 30's, cloudy, no wind

Starting Lineup

CF Ray

LF Meggs

1B Berry, Mitsui (8th)

DH Anselment 3-4 | 1 R

RF Camporeale 1-4 | 1 R | 1 RBI

3B Lamb 2-4 | 2 RBI

2B Ely

C Santy

SS Afenir

SP Davis, RP Kane (7th), RP Palewicz (8th), RP Fredendall (9th) - Deja Vu...Dangler has set the rotation

> 1st Inning: 4 R | 4 H | 0 E | 1 LOB

Tyler Davis is baffling in so many ways. Teammates, fans and broadcasters alike seem perplexed when it comes to describing him, let alone understanding how he pitches so well. He is not overpowering like West, doesn't have a modern curveball and to them doesn't look at first glance like a pitcher capable of doing what he did Saturday. This is because his style went out of style decades ago.

It all makes absolute perfect sense to me after watching Davis in person. I stated preseason a similarity with Swift on paper, yet after physical scouting I could put my old tape next to Tyler's. We are very similar pitchers, only he is a righty. I have already started a write-up breaking down his old school curveball and why it's so effective, so I will go over how Tyler is the most deceptive pitcher on the team there. My goal is to get a write-up and/or interview with each player as the season progresses. Davis, Voth and West, who happen to be our SP's with great performances all, shall be first. No order here, I will go by whomever plays great each week. Wiggins had a clutch, clutch hit this weekend as well...

Davis spread out two doubles, a single and one walk while never allowing more than one base runner in any of his six innings. The single was here, stranded at 1B.

The Dawgs aggressiveness won this game in the 1st inning, scoring 4 quickly before *ucks SP Jake Reed could get the rubber dirty. Reed eventually settled down to thrown a 1 run complete came afterwords, but it was too late. Washington found a pair of foreboding four's dealt their way and pushed forth, for 4 of the 5 runs & 4 of the 8 hits, foredooming the zeroes forevermore.

Meggs singled, Berry walk, Anselment single to LF and bases are loaded, one out. Campo is now batting .302 after a 2 for 7 double header. Meggs eventually pulled him in the second game via pinch-running Brown who had a key hit later in that game. Campo hit a RBI single on the ground to RF, eventually coming around to score a run in his only effective at-bat for the series, run-wise.1-0 bases still loaded.

Lamb singled for 2 RBI's through the middle and kept right on going as the *ucks overthrew the cutoff man again in another muffed outfield-infield exchange. Oregon had issues all series long getting the infield in proper defensive sets and/or outfielders making good throws in. The *ucks had to replace a lot of the starting talent lost in '11 with inexperienced players it appears, as they just never looked fluid defensively, where the Dawgs were cohesive with many new starters. I have to chalk this one up as a Coaching advantage with JC experience for many of our "new" guys. 3-0 Dawgs.

With the overthrow runners on 2b & 3B for Ely to pop down a squeeze play, and hey, we succeeded this time. 4-0 runner on third stranded on a Santy ground ball. If I could merge Santy, Wiggins and Anselment into one can dream. All three are so close yet so far to becoming the complete package that would start everyday possible. I think everyone is waiting for one of the 5-6 catchers on the team to step up and work over the final hurdle in a race that doesn't see an end in sight.

>>2nd Inning:

This was nothing but 3 up, 3 down's

>>>3rd Inning:

except here with 1 hit each. Great pitching,

>>>>4th Inning:

and more great pitching.

>>>>>5th Inning:

Ray hit a hard enough shot to short to be scored a hit, only he ended up on second after an airmailed free pass. Meggs will be leading the nation in no time if he keeps this torrid pace of sac-bunts up. A passed ball scores Ray, 5-0 UW final score.

Anselment had a hit in the 5th, Lamb in the 6th to finish off the Dawgs hits. The end of this game was all pitching again from both bullpen's. Oregon does have good pitching as advertised, only more vulnerable than the stats would mislead you to believe.

Kane with a 1-2-3 7th, Palewicz only a harmless single in the 7th leads to Fredendall who let the *ucks feel a little hope with runners on the corners before plunging the knife in for the swinging K-ill. We love the smell of roast duck in the afternoon, too, and it's always webfoot hunting season.

Game 19, DH 2 Recap: 10 H | 1 2B | 2 R | 2 RBI | 3 BB | 14 K (UO 11 K) | 10 LOB

Weather: mid-40's, mostly sunny

Starting Lineup - This game was so full of subs check the Gamecast & Box Score for the craziness

CF Ray 2-6 | 1 RBI | 2 K

LF/2B* Meggs

DH Berry

C Anselment

RF Camporeale

3B Lamb

2B Pehl

1B Mitsui 2-5 | 1 R | 1 2B | 2 K

SS Forgione

SP Voth, RP Wright (7th), RP Cimber (10th), RP Brigham (13th)

Game Winning Fact: Washington hit 2-11 w/RISP, ouch. Now if you look up ^...see that 10 LOB? Do the math...yes, the Dawgs not only left ten runners on base, they stranded nine in scoring position; double ouch. Just ONE hit and Washington wins the series. One ball hit anywhere in the field! OK I'm done venting about that, though I'm sure Coach Meggs isn't. Something like this takes time to forget, about the time it takes to win another game your SP throws a 1-hitter, instead of losing.

As I hinted at in the opening, this game was a Murphy's Loss for the Dawgs. In a game we would win 999 out of 1000 times, the guys, including the Skipper this time, found every way to hurt themselves. UO didn't win this game, not by a long shot. They were handed it on a silver platter, a parting gift so Nike keeps sending equipment.

> 1st Inning: 1 H | 1 LOB

The walk with two outs, then its perfection for Voth until the 6th. Still can't believe he did that and didn't get the win...

Berry singled.

>> 2nd Inning: 1 H

Campo singled.

>>>3rd Inning: 1 R | 3 H | 2 LOB

With the pitchers duel in auto pilot, every run & hit felt a little more valuable. Washington took the lead with the first run of the game here, but the key word is first, in singular form. Mitsui lead off with a double followed by a sac-bunt from Forgione that he was oh so close to beating out for an infield single.

Ray had another great series on top of the lineup with his RBI here, a single to the right field gap that was a failed dive attempt by the right fielder. I hesitate to call it a dive, it looked more like an ungraceful belly flop into the grass after being tripped. He half fell, half fell forward...Regardless, 1-0 Dawgs to the relief and elation of the crowd. We thought, with the way he was steamrolling the quackers, that might be enough to win or else signaled the beginning of the bats coming alive. Neither proved true.

Meggs singled to put runners on 1B & 2B with one out, only to watch Berry, who had a lackluster series to be honest, and Anselment strike out swinging back-to-back. You just felt like that inning had so much more left to give...

>>>>4th Inning: 1 H

Lamb single to center.

>>>>>5th Inning:

six up, six down.

>>>>>>6th Inning:

What a heartbreaking way to lose a no-hitter. If this happened in the early innings, it would be nothing. This happened with two outs in the 6th.

Two outs, we were all chatting away watching the batters fall like flies. Then old Voth is here as fast as Wroten lost his hot hand against OSU. Voth somehow lost a 2 strike count to walk a runner with two outs, following it up two pitches later with a bean job. Where did those two quackers on 1B & 2B come from? Uh oh, better watch, that last batter with two strikes is no more.

Murphy's Law on St. Patrick's Day...a long, deep fly ball to left-center that just keep going while you watch Meggs running under it, thinking he has a chance. If Meggs was not shading the right-handed batter on the line, he would have been there in time. Instead, it takes one bounce to the wall easily scoring *ucks leadoff hitter and speedster Altobelli from 1B. Cue the surprisingly boisterous celebration on the 3B line; that wasn't how the #12 team in the land reacts to a double against an unranked, lesser-talented foe they expect to defeat. No, that celebration told me Oregon thought (right or wrong is up to you to decide) we were the better team. 2-1 quackers.

>>>>>>> 7th Inning: 1 E | 2 LOB

Wright came in for Voth who was sadly on the hook for a loss. In a not-meant-to-be-cruel-way, he can't blame anyone else, only himself. Such is the life of a pitcher; high-risk high-reward. Like water off a Malamute's back, ya just gotta forget and move on. A leadoff single to one of the Three Not-skinny-eateer's, So. Kyle Garlick (go figure, right?), is stranded at 2B.

Campo reaches on another throwing error by the feather arm's, Brown pinch-runs for Campo, Lamb walked and Coach Meggs made the biggest decision of the game in hindsight. What he was thinking here is beyond me. A great big "what if?" hangs over this thought process, with no way of honestly knowing what would have happened. Pehl may not be a great glove at 2B, but his bat is worth more than the upgrade M. Jackson's glove brings to 2B at this time. Jackson walked up to the plate, swung, and turned right around to walk back to the dugout. On the season Jackson is 1-10, .100/.100/.100, or about four 1's too many. The Decision to be continued in the 9th...

Ladies and Gentlemen, meet the best strikeout per nine innings (15.76) machine in the country: UO So. Closer Jimmie Sherfy. I imagined someone taller, without a mullet and a little more composure. Other than that, he does have good velocity, some nasty offspeed stuff to go with it and a nice pace on the mound, assertive. This tends to let him show his emotions on the mound a little too much if you ask some people, and I think his father agrees. I accidentally spoke with Mr. Sherfy for about 5 minutes or so before he said something after I said I wanted to see Jimmie pitch, and was shocked he hadn't been used yet. Um, oh, hi, nice to meet you.

Sherfy has very questionable command at times, yet at times can paint the corners beautifully. Inconsistency is still his main issue, but he could locate when he needed to Saturday, only surrendering one walk and four hits over 6.2 IP. He only had 6 K's though, a little under half his season average. It was frustrating to watch the battle for both sides, so tense the Skipper and home Ump had a couple exchanges with some lovely undertones. With the way things are going for the quacks I would expect to see Sherfy starting very soon. Mitsui down on strikes and Ely, who pinch-hit for Forgione(??) with a fielder's choice.

>>>>>>>> 8th Inning: Brown to RF, Jackson to 2B, Afenir to SS

A strange mix of defensive subs. Way off base from everything Coach has done in the past, putting guys in spots they are not comfortable with, let alone with the game in the latter stages with the pressure up.

Six up, six down.

>>>>>>>>> 9th Inning: 1 R | 2 H | 1 LOB

Wright pitching another perfect inning, making it nine in a row set down after the single to Garlick. Impressive stuff from another pitcher who had some struggles. Keep this up until the end of the year and you have some powerful recruiting ammo in the baseball world.

Things were bleak heading into the 9th after watching Sherfy set the Dawgs down in order the last time up. Anselment flying out to CF didn't help. Brown has been clutch at the dish in his precious few at-bats for the previous starting CF Senior, working the count and having great pitch selection. He worked another big count resulting in an opposite-field line drive single down the RF line right in front of the right fielder for the tying runner on base, go ahead at the plate. Brown occupied Sherfy so well he threw on passed his catcher in his distracted state giving Brown a hall pass to 2B.

Lamb has been making excellent contact as of late. His outs have been productive or hit hard right at a glove, like this ground ball to the right side like your taught to advance Brown. Two outs, runner on third, and Jackson is up oh n...oh wait, Wiggins! Time for some more pinch-hit magic maybe?

Wiggins took a few pitches, waited and pulled that single over third to score brown and knot the game up at 2. Mitsui proceeded to ground out to 2B, but the game was extended, essentially now a brand new, sudden death baseball game. Think a skins game in golf, winner take all.

>>>>>>>>>> 10th Inning: Meggs to 2B, Anselment to RF, Brown to LF, Santy to C for Wiggins

Cimber came in relief of Wright, tossing his own perfect inning highlighted by an awesome diving catch toward home on a short little pop up for the third out. It had the whole place cheering, and even UO had to admire the catch, just like the plays Lamb made all day long right in front of them.

Afenir fly ball, Ray single, Meggs out to LF, Berry HBP....runners on first and second, two outs with Anselment up to bat. He swung at least. Another chance to end it squandered.

>>>>>>>>>>> 11th Inning:

Six up, six down. Pitching was nasty all weekend long. For a guy like me it's heaven.

>>>>>>>>>>>> 12th Inning: 1 H | 1 LOB

Another inning, more base runners, same result. Mitsui lead things off with a single to be sac-bunted over by Afenir. Scoring position, do it this time. Ray and Meggs couldn't get it done, both swinging strikeouts. I'm a broken record right now.

>>>>>>>>>>>>> 13th Inning: 1 LOB

The end of this game, most notably The Decision is something I want to study a little before coming to certain dissertations. Cimber lead off with a walk on a very questionable call for ball four. The *ucks wasted no time bunting the runner into scoring position, only to strikeout next swinging after crushing three balls down the LF line foul. Brigham come in for Cimber.

I'm sure Joe Meggs can play 2B, his Pa wouldn't put him there if his son couldn't hack it. Problem was he put his son at 2B after playing in LF for 21 innings already Saturday. Joe's body is entirely tuned for outfield mode right now and will take an inning or two to adjust. Brigham get's a righty to hit a slicing one-hopper right at Meggs spinning fast enough to hit Joe's heel on his glove and fly into the no man's land him. The ball rolled far enough to let the runner from second come around to score. The entire team was just standing there, in shock, most notably Brigham.

The baseball player in me cannot lay the blame for this anywhere but on the Skippers helm.

The Dawgs gave it a valiant effort in respon....I'd love to type that, or just not say anything at all, but that wouldn't be honest of me. Brown walked with two outs after Berry flied out and Anselment struck out swinging to Jimmie for the second time, getting stranded at first watched Lamb fly out to left.

Sour taste yes, sweet victory, too. Washington is 2-1 in conference play to start '12 off right. Another series win, right on schedule.

Go Dawgs!