WCL alums lead University of Oregon to #5 national ranking and first place in Pac-12

The University of Oregon Ducks are flying high. George Horton’s club is 19-8 in Pac-12 play, 41-14 overall and are ranked #5 by Baseball America.

The Ducks’ roster has a definite WCL feel to it with closer Jimmie Sherfy (2.25, 4-2, 16 saves) and outfielder Aaron Jones (pictured) leading the way.

Sherfy, who emerged last summer with the Corvallis Knights, was recently selected to play for Team USA. The sophomore right-hander collected three saves in Oregon’s last Pac-12 series vs. USC at PK Park.

Jimmie was the WCL’s #9 prospect in 2011 per Baseball America. He saw his first considerable collegiate action over the summer posting a 2.16 ERA over 11 regular-season appearances and 16 2/3 innings while striking out 18 and going 1-0 for the WCL champion Knights.

Jones, who got his first taste of college baseball with the Kelowna Falcons in 2010, is the team’s catalyst on offense.

Aaron had no issue with wood while in Kelowna as the frosh-to-be hit .342 with a homer and 15 RBIs for the Falcons.

Oregon’s ace Alex Keudell (10-3, 1.80) pitched for the Cowlitz Black Bears in 2010 and the Ducks’ Sunday starter Jeff Gold (8-3, 3.26) developed with the Bears over the past two summers.

Cowlitz also featured first-team All-WCL performer Kyle Garlick of Oregon last summer.

Garlick and Jones are Oregon’s top hitters. Kyle is hitting .302 with 10 doubles, 6 home runs and 34 RBIs. Jones is hitting .287 with 12 doubles, 6 homers and 37 RBIs.

Oregon’s other outfielders also played in the West Coast League last summer and are returning for the 2012 season.

Andrew Mendenhall of Walla Walla is hitting .234 with a home run and 5 RBI. Connor Hofmann of Corvallis has started in center field for the Ducks for most of the season and is hitting .258 with 3 home runs, 14 RBIs and 7 stolen bases.

The Oregon bullpen also features former WCLers southpaw Billy Flamion (Cowlitz, 2011) and sidearmer David Wylie (Bend, 2011). Flamion is 1-0 with a 4.85 ERA over 10 relief appearances. Batters are hitting a miniscule .093 vs. Billy.

Wylie is 1-0 with one save over 8 relief appearances and 17 2/3 innings pitched.

The Ducks’ mid-week starter Jordan Spencer (3-2, 4.78) tossed a no-hitter versus University of Portland on April 18, 2012. The frosh southpaw from Beaverton, Oregon is headed to Bend this summer with Oregon reserve catcher Shaun Chase (.181 avg, 2 hr, 9 rbi).

Oregon plays University of Portland this afternoon and tomorrow before finishing the regular season with a three-game series May 25-27 at Oregon State.