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Published: May 27, 2012
So, that pretty much sucked. I’m not going to sit here and argue with you. Turns out, all the Ducks had to do was win once in Corvallis, and they would have staked a claim to the Pac-12 title. They couldn’t do that. Swept. Alex Keudell, Mr. Unbeatable, was beaten. Jake Reed did something to piss off the offense, because the bats certainly didn’t come to his aid during an otherwise nice outing. And then everything kind of fell apart Sunday.
That’s your recap this week, kids. I’m sure you don’t really want to read about this weekend, and I certainly don’t want to write about it. We had an opportunity, and we couldn’t capitalize. I’ve been saying for a month and a half now the rest of this season is playing with house money after our unexpected success vaulted us into the national top ten, but that doesn’t mean I didn’t greedily hope for more along the way. A championship, in Year Four, would have been nice.
Here’s what we know:
1. We’re going to host a regional next weekend. It’s dubbed the Eugene Regional. That’s pretty sweet. Takes the sting off the events in Corvallis. Kind of.
2. The events of the Eugene Regional are all that matters now. I’ve been fighting back talk of national seeds and Super Regionals for awhile now, and I’m not going to stop now. You have to win your regional to advance to the Supers, and I’m not entirely sure everyone understands that. I’ve heard a suspicious amount of, “Well, darn, now we may not host the Super Regional” comments in the last few hours. That should be the last of anyone’s concerns. Of the utmost importance is winning what’s before us, and that’s the Eugene Regional. This resurrected program has never won a regional. This program didn’t really come close in 2010, ousting Connecticut but never truly competing in two games with Florida State. It’s not like this postseason thing is an old hat for us. We’ve got some heavy lifting to do next weekend, and as this weekend has shown us, we’re not exactly talented enough to coast. We need our A games.
3. Also, we don’t even know who the other three teams in our regional will be. For all we know, we could be looking at two or three exceptionally talented teams heading our way.
4. The good news about getting beaten like a rented mule this weekend? This team has always responded well to bad losses. Lose two of three in Seattle? Sweep Utah. Lose two bad games at Texas State? Sweep Arizona State, then take two of three from UCLA and Stanford. Get taken to the shed by Washington State? Sweep Cal. We haven’t shown a knack for going down a shame spiral after losses, which bodes well for this weekend. We’ve looked like hell before and bounced back nicely. We can do it again.
This is a short blog. I’m going to try to put out another midweek, and I’ll try to break down the NCAA selections. Obviously, we’ll be the #1 seed in our bracket, and thus we’ll play the (perceived) weakest team on the first day. I’ll try to take a look at who we’ll be playing, probable pitching match-ups (Horton got creative in 2010, shaking up the rotation in order to try to get pitching advantages he liked) and what’s in store for the rest of the weekend.
Also, congrats to the Lady Ducks and their accomplishments in Austin this weekend. I didn’t think we’d compete with Missouri two years ago, and I definitely didn’t think we could beat Florida last season, but Texas looked beatable and it certainly looked like our time to make the next step. Winning a pair of games Saturday was very impressive. And who doesn’t love to hate Texas? The shenanigans in game two were above and beyond ridiculous. I thought Mack Brown was coaching those gals for a moment based on all the whining going on amongst Longhorn players, but once the hitting started I quickly realized my mistake. The UT football program hasn’t hit anyone that hard in years. Hook ‘em, Ducks!