Eugene, Ore. -- With fall practices coming up on Friday, Oregon baseball is ready to kick off a new era in their history: the Mark Wasikowski era. The Ducks new coach met with reporters on Tuesday to talk about the state of the prgram, what he expects out of his roster and new freshmen, along with some added changes that will be instituted under the new regime.
Among those changes, a new field turf at PK Park along with bringing some of the outfield fences closer in to make the dimensions of the park more hitter friendly. But some other changes will felt among the players and personnel. A new analytics team, one for pitching and one for hitting, is already being felt by players.
"The analytical side of it is remarkeable, especially the hitting," says senior Kenyon Yovan. "I've used it while I was hitting and it's definitely a lot different than what we've had the last three years I've been here."
"Right now analytics is on the cutting edge of it," Wasikowski continues. "So if we can gain any edge towards the development of our student athletes we're gonna look everywhere we can and that's just one way."
Yovan headlines a returning stable of pitchers, including Robbie Ahlstrom, Cole Stringer and Cullen Kafka. The Ducks will be replacing some of their biggest stars from last year, most notably third basemen Spencer Steer.
Oregon starts fall practice on Friday and will play the University of Portland, Lane Community College and a Canadian national select team in October before opening their regular season in February.