Local standout shines in Oregon Baseball run at NCAA Super Regionals

2022 Murrieta Mesa graduate, Carter Garate, advanced to the Super Regional round of NCAA Men’s World Series Tournament with Oregon for the second straight season. Valley News/Oregon Athletics photo

COLLEGE STATION, Texas — Oregon was seeded No. 3 in the Santa Barbara Regional, and advanced to the Super Regional last weekend, for the second consecutive year. The Ducks put together an impressive performance, including a 6-3 victory over UCSB to advance, and in their starting lineup is third baseman Carter Garate, a former standout from Murrieta Mesa High School.

Garate, who was named MVP of the UCSB Regional Bracket, has become a significant contributor to the Ducks’ success. Garate’s transition from shortstop to third base has been a seamless one. During the regular season, the sophomore started 55 games, hitting .276 with three home runs and accumulating 50 hits. His journey from high school accolades—earning Second Team All-Southwestern League and All-CIF honors as a junior (2021), followed by First Team All-SWL honors as a senior in 2022—to excelling in college baseball is a testament to his dedication and talent.

The stage was set in Texas this past weekend, and in a thrilling display of resilience and skill, the Oregon Ducks baseball team fought to stay alive for a College World Series berth. Despite dropping the first game of the best-of-three series against Texas A&M Aggies on Saturday with a score of 10-6, the Ducks were determined to bounce back in the NCAA Super Regional round.

Carter Garate, a 2022 graduate from Murrieta Mesa, was named MVP of the UCSB Regional round during the first weekend of the NCAA Men’s World Series Tournament with Oregon. Valley News/Oregon Athletics photo

The Ducks’ sights were set on forcing a decisive third game by squaring the series on Sunday, but what turned out to be a thrilling start ended in heartbreak.

“It’s a tougher pill to swallow when you don’t play up to the level you know you can play up to, and traditionally have played up to,” said Oregon head coach Mark Wasikowski. “So, it was disappointing. We got off to a good start but didn’t play a complete game in either matchup whatsoever.”

To keep their College World Series hopes alive, the Ducks needed to win the next two games against the Aggies. In game two, the Ducks displayed their determination with a powerful start, hitting back-to-back-to-back home runs in the first inning. However, a disastrous seventh inning saw Texas A&M score nine runs off one single, seven walks, and a grand slam, resulting in a 15-9 defeat for Oregon.

Garate’s Super Regional run had him going 3 for 7 with an RBI, a run scored, one strike out and one hit by pitch. The Oregon Ducks’ season ends with a hard-fought battle in the NCAA Super Regionals, but under Coach Wasikowski’s leadership, the team has made remarkable progress, reaching the postseason of the NCAA Tournament for four consecutive seasons. As Garate and his teammates continue to develop, the future looks bright for Oregon baseball.

For more information, follow the NCAA tournament brackets and updates at ncaa.com.

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JP Raineri
JP Raineri

JP is an award-winning multimedia journalist, and head of the Sports Department for the Valley News. Over his time in the Temecula Valley, JP, a former Southwestern League head baseball coach, was also an on-air radio personality at Q103.3, KATY 101.3, Hot 103.9, and was a television host for the Outdoor Channel. When not covering local, or national sports, JP also serves as an Associate Baseball Scout with NSR.