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Axel

Imagine. An Oregon Ducks Baseball Team that Scores Runs

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Through just 13 games, the 2022 Ducks led by Coach Mark Wasikowski are boasting a run differential of +63. How refreshing that an Oregon coach has thumbed through the rulebook and discovered that it’s totally okay for baseball players to swing their bats.

 

Last year, the Ducks sported a run differential of +148. That’s a stat that the Ducks, under ex-coach George Horton, did not attain in 11 seasons. Those poor Ducks flailed and failed.

 

The 2021 Ducks set all-time school records in home runs, RBIs, and runs scored. In Horton’s final five seasons at Oregon, the Ducks actually posted a negative run differential. It doesn’t take an Archimedes or a Sir Isaac Newton to figure that you’re not going to win too many baseball games with numbers like that.

 

Of course, it’s not like Horton didn’t try to score runs. He had a strategy, and some sportswriters who have a hard time distinguishing a baseball from a football or a pomegranate, actually gushed over the strategy: “Get ‘em on, bunt ‘em over, pray for a way to get ‘em to third, and hope against hope for a wild pitch to get ‘em home.”

 

On that happy occasion after Horton had flashed his final bunt sign at Oregon, Bob Lundeberg of The Oregonian wrote, “For the majority of Horton’s tenure, the Ducks relied on pitching and opportunistic offense to win games.”

 

Horton’s opportunistic offense featured such offensively talented plays as bunting a ball off the third baseman’s glove, getting hit by a pitch, bunting a ball through the pitcher’s legs, taking a base on balls, and bunting a ball toward the first baseman and hoping that he’d Buckner it.

 

When Coach “Waz” assumed the reins of the Ducks baseball program, he carefully and methodically considered the merits of the “opportunistic offense” utilized by Horton. After a long, studious 18 seconds, he decided to implement his own offensive strategy: hit home runs.

 

For those of you who are not yet familiar with the new Ducks, a home run is when a batter hits a pitch way, way far away and it’s hit so far away that the ball--wait for it--goes over the fence, sometimes way over the fence! Yes, that can actually happen in a baseball game.

 

Thank you, Coach Mark Wasikowski, for bringing a much better brand of ball to PK Park. 

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I cannot convey my level of agreement, as they are now fun to watch.  Now the new fence distance has changed things, but the opposing teams are going-long more often as well.

 

I am seeing superb improvement and development of the players.  Players that had minor roles last year are big-hitters this year, and pitchers that I could not rely on at all in relief have improved tremendously.  By the end of this year--this team could really jell and make some noise.

 

I love the long-term with Coach Waz, and we all win as a result.

 

Oregon baseball opens 2022 believing it has 'arguably better' talent than  last season's NCAA regional team - oregonlive.com

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Mr. FishDuck

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