The No. 11 Oregon baseball team wasn’t much of a factor offensively against the San Francisco Dons on Tuesday. The Ducks looked sluggish, tired. But head coach George Horton wouldn’t allow his players to make excuses, giving most of the credit to the Dons. In the city by the bay, the Ducks had the expectations to dominate all aspects of the game. But the production didn’t come, and when it did, it was too little too late in an 8-4 loss.
“I’m not going to make any excuses,” head coach George Horton said. “They just out-toughed us.”
USF starting pitcher Sheldon Lee looked good but not great. He threw strikes with his fastball that ranged widely between 82-88 miles per hour. He didn’t throw many changeups nor did he rely heavily on his breaking pitches. After five innings of work Lee threw 87 pitches, 50 of which were strikes.
What made Lee’s outing look so superior was the lack of production from the Oregon offense. Not only did Oregon struggle to get hits, which they didn’t get until Nick Catalano’s two-out double in the fourth inning, the Ducks couldn’t quite take advantage of Lee’s limited repertoire .
“I thought we got some fat pitches and we struck out 15 times,” Horton said.
Of the 15 strikeouts, seven of them occurred in the final 2.2 innings. Eight of Oregon’s strikeouts came from Austin Grebeck, Tyler Baumgartner, Mitchell Tolman and Kyle Garlick — Oregon’s 2-5 hitters.
“We were crummy (offensively),” Horton said. “We were giving away a lot of at bats.”
It was clear that some of the Oregon players were overly eager to hit the ball. Whether it was because of frustration caused by the long bus ride on Monday from Eugene, the tiny dugout meant to hold a third of Oregon’s team, the slower pitching or another reason, Oregon’s hitters were often caught out on their front feet.
“I don’t think we respected the game very well and I don’t think we respected our opponent very well,” Horton said.
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