The Oregon Ducks fell 4-2 to the Loyola Marymount Lions on Friday night in the opening game of a three-game series in Los Angeles, California.
The Ducks (2-2) wasted no time getting both runs, scoring from the first three batters of the game. Kyle Kasser led off with a double to left field and Jonny DeLuca took the first pitch he saw to right field for an RBI-single. After stealing second and advancing to third base on a throwing error, DeLuca scored on a sacrifice by Spencer Steer.
This was the second time the Ducks have faced the Lions (1-4) this season. The Ducks won the first matchup 6-1 when two teams faced each other in the Marucci Desert Classic in Las Vegas to open the season.
This was also the second consecutive start that Matt Mercer (1-1) has faced the Lions. In the first matchup, Mercer pitched 6.1 innings and held the Lions to one run on three hits.
However, the Lions offense was able to get the best of Mercer on Friday. He surrendered five hits and three runs (two earned) and struck out four. The one unearned run came in the fifth inning when Niko Decolati reached first on an error by Ryne Nelson.
Kenny Oyama led off the bottom of the third with a single for the Lions, and Billy Wilson followed with a double to put runners on the corners with no outs. A sacrifice line drive to center field cut the Oregon lead in half, and in the next at-bat Niko Decolati tied the game with an RBI-single.
Kolby Somers made his second relief appearance of the season, pitching two innings and surrendered just one earned run, a sacrifice lineout that added an insurance run in the bottom of the seventh inning.
Cole Stringer takes the mound Saturday night at 6 p.m. in game two of the series against Nick Frasso (0-1) of the Lions.
Follow Zak Laster on Twitter: @zlast3445