I find it hard to believe with what the weather has been like in Eugene the last few weeks that we are talking about baseball, but here we are. Friday Night was opening night for the 2014 Oregon Baseball team in Hawaii. The Ducks and Rainbow Warriors have met five times in consecutive seasons. Oregon began the season without Starting Pitcher Cole Irvin who underwent Tommy John Surgery a few weeks ago, but Starter Tommy Thorpe was shaky giving up a bases loaded walk and then allowed the tying run to score on a fielder’s choice.
The Ducks bullpen then took over with Stopper of the Year Candidate Garrett Cleavinger along with Freshman Trent Paddon, Sophomore Porter Clayton and former Starter turned Closer Jake Reed shutting down the Rainbow Warriors – just enough to earn Cleavinger the 10th victory of his college career.
Reed, a Starter the last few seasons became Oregon Closer for this season after Jimmy Sherfy departed last year. The Junior struck out Jordan Richartz in the bottom of the 9th to earn the first save of his career as a Duck. Offensively Oregon was led by Left Fielder Nick Catalano who in three at bats had a hit and a run scored. Kyle Garlick returned to the Oregon lineup, after spending much of 2013 on the bench with an injury to tack on another run.
Oregon and Hawaii meet again tonight in Game 2 of the four game series at 8:35pm PT. The game can be heard live on 1320 AM in Eugene or online at GoDucks.com Ore