Baseball season has officially begun at every level. This author has been frustrated by the Cubs, surprised by the Ducks, and impressed by the Roseburg Indians.
As a Cubs fan, it’s proving to be another year of falling short of expectations, which are admittedly too high. Rebuilding is tough, but I like the direction Theo has taken the team.
The Oregon Ducks baseball team wasn’t expected to be challenging the best of the Pac-12, but that’s exactly what they’re doing. Last week a trip to Los Angeles netted a series win over the previously fifth best team in the nation. Prior to that, the Ducks swept a three game series against top 15 Arizona State.
The Pac-12 season is nearing the halfway point and the Ducks are tied for second and only a game behind the Arizona Wildcats. I’ve seen projections saying the Ducks could be a two-seed in regionals for the College World Series. If they continue to win series against top competitors, they might have a chance at hosting a game at the beautiful P.K. Park.
The Roseburg Indians were expected to be a state title contender in the Oregon 6A classification and they haven’t disappointed. The team is 12-1 overall and 5-0 in the Southern Oregon Hybrid Conference. Their latest wins capped a season sweep of the South Medford Panthers and continued their dominance this season. Ever since the team had an eye-opening 9-1 loss to Sunset last month, they have outscored their opponents 107-17.
It’s likely that head coach Troy Thompson will continue to ride the arms of seniors Josh Graham and Jared Priestley. Graham is now 5-0 on the year and Priestley has improved to 4-0 with his 5-1 win over South Medford today. The pair have been dominating. Graham has allowed just five runs over his five starts and struck out 51 hitters in just 29.0 innings pitched. Priestley has been touched up for just four runs in his 26 innings and has struck out an equally impressive 32 hitters.
The season’s outcome will likely ride on these two seniors. So far, they’ve proven they can handle the load.
I expect this past week of frustrating Cubs’ losses, surprising Duck wins, and dominating Indians’ victories are just the start of what will be another eventful baseball season. At every level.