It was a big welcome back for Jakob Goldfarb to open the 2018 baseball season for the Oregon Ducks. His 3-run home run in the sixth inning broke the game open and the Ducks defeated the Loyola Marymount Lions, 6-1, to open the Marucci Classic in Las Vegas, Nevada, on Friday.
Goldfarb, who missed the entire 2017 season with a foot injury, tied the game with a fifth inning RBI-double and set a career-high with his fifth RBI on a single to score Spencer Steer in the eighth inning.
Oregon starter Matt Mercer (1-0) was solid in his new role of being the Friday starter. He pitched 6.1 innings and surrendered one run on three hits. He struck out four batters and walked three as well.
The Ducks fell behind a run during the second inning. After a double by Trevin Esquerra to open the inning, Nick Sogard reached first on an error, allowing Esquerra to move to third base. He snuck home for the first run of the game on a double play.
The Ducks had to wait until the fourth inning to get their first run of the season when freshman Jonny Deluca smacked a single on the second pitch of his at-bat to right field, but a line out ended the inning. Deluca launched his first career home run in the sixth inning to give the Ducks the lead.
Closer Kenyon Yovan entered the game in the eighth inning, but worked himself into some trouble, surrendering a single and a walk to put two on base with no outs. Following a strikeout, Yovan hit a batter to load the bases and prompted a coach visit. Esquerra ripped a ball to Kyle Kasser, who ended the threat by flipping the ball to second base for the inning ending double play.
Cole Stringer will get the start for the Saturday night in Las Vegas when they play the University of Nevada-Las Vegas Rebels at 6:05 p.m. in the second game of the Marucci Classic.
Follow Zak Laster on Twitter: @zlast3445
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