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At least the Ducks won, sort of, in the ratings



COURTESY: CHRIS PIETSCH/THE REGISTER-GUARD - Oregon Ducks senior quarterback Vernon Adams Jr. prepares to launch a long pass during the first half of the Alamo Bowl against TCU.Is this good news or bad news for the Oregon Ducks?

The Ducks and TCU Horned Frogs pulled in a 4.4 overall rating when they played the Alamo Bowl last Saturday — the seventh-largest TV rating in the event's 23 years and a 29 percent hike from the year before, when UCLA topped Kansas State 40-35 at San Antonio, Texas.

The first half was great for the Ducks, who led 31-0. The rest of the game was not; TCU won 47-41 in three overtimes.

A sellout crowd of 64,569 at the Alamodome and 7.4 million ESPN viewers saw the game, according to bowl officials. The total is the fourth highest in Alamo Bowl history.

The Oregon-Texas game played on Dec. 30, 2013 ranks third. That was a better game for the Ducks — with Marcus Mariota at quarterback, they led 20-7 at the half and outscored the Longhorns 10-0 in the second half for a 30-7 victory.


Spenser Smith will be the play-by-play broadcaster for the Portland Pickles, a summer college wood-bat baseball team to debut in June.

Smith, 23, is a native of Walla Walla, Wash. In 2014, he was the broadcaster for the Walla Walla Sweets of the West Coast League. In 2015, he was broadcasting and media relations assistant for the Lancaster (Calif.) JetHawks, a Class A affiliate of the Houston Astros. He also has called games for the California Winter League in Palm Springs.

The Pickles plan to broadcast all 60 Great West League regular-season games, 30 home at Walker Stadium in Southeast Portland. Their season opens June 3 at the Medford Rogues. The home opener is June 10 against the Marysville Gold Sox.


Portland’s 34-game MLS slate for 2016 is out. The Timbers already had announced an opening date of Sunday, March 6, with a home game against Columbus. It will kick off at 1:30 p.m.

The Timbers’ final match is Sunday, Oct. 23 at Vancouver.