Oregon baseball won a lot of games with “Horton Ball.” Under former manager George Horton, the Ducks played a purist’s form of the game. Horton’s Ducks got on base. His Ducks advanced the runner. His Ducks, at their best, would manufacture runs and ride pitching and defense the rest of the way.
In 2012, it got Oregon one inning away from reaching the College World Series. That year, the Ducks hit 29 home runs in 65 games.
Here a decade later, former Horton assistant Mark Wasikowski has gone the opposite direction. In his first year replacing Horton, the Ducks hit a team-record 56 home runs in 2021. Then in the offseason, Oregon moved in the fences at PK Park, long considered one of the friendliest places for pitchers in the conference.
How has that worked out? Well, it’s April 1 and the No. 21 Ducks (18-7, 7-2 Pac-12) have mashed 41 home runs through 25 games. They’re also leading the Pac-12 standings heading into this weekend’s series with UCLA.
Steve Mims, who has covered more baseball at PK Park than anyone, stops by the show this week to talk about Oregon’s power surge.
Then we get into some Final Four and Oregon basketball talk.
This is a free episode of The I-5 Corridor podcast. The I-5 Corridor is independent, local sports journalism dependent on its listeners and readers. For access to all podcasts and written material on The I-5 Corridor, consider becoming a subscriber.