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Lamar takes must-win game from ORU, 5-4

Courtesy: ORU Media Relations
          Release: 05/16/2014
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TULSA, Okla. – An outfield error was the difference on Friday night as Lamar University won a crucial Southland Conference contest over Oral Roberts University, 5-4, in 10 innings at J.L. Johnson Stadium. With the win, the Cardinals (30-23, 15-14 SLC) draw even with ORU (30-25, 15-14 SLC) for the 8th and final SLC Tournament spot.

ORU and Lamar will meet for the final time on Saturday at J.L. Johnson Stadium, with the winner advancing to next week’s SLC Tournament.  The loser’s season will be over.

Lamar scored the game-winning run in the 10th inning, as Brandon Provost reached home on an ORU error. The Golden Eagles had sent the game to extra frames with a two-out, two-run homer off the bat of Emmanuel Forcier.

Kurt Giller (3-4) suffered the loss for ORU, allowing one unearned run in 2.1 innings of relief. Will Hibbs (5-3) was the winner, tossing six innings of relief for the Cardinals. He allowed two runs and struck out nine.

Neither starting pitcher factored into the decision. Pepe Gomez allowed four runs in 7.2 innings for the Golden Eagles, while David Carver allowed two runs in four innings for the Cardinals.

Provost, Justin Eckols and Jacoby Middleton each tallied two hits for Lamar, while Sam Bumpers was 1-for-5 with his 6th home run of the year, a two-run shot in the 3rd inning.

Forcier, Logan Domenico, Tyler Boss, Audie Afenir and Austen Colt all recorded two hits on the ORU side.

ORU left men in scoring position in each of the first two innings, and Lamar made the Golden Eagles pay. Bumpers crushed a two-run homer to left field in the 3rd inning, scoring Jude Vidrine and giving Lamar a 2-0 lead.

The Golden Eagles got back in the game in the 5th inning. Boss singled with the bases loaded, plating a pair of runs and tying the game at 2-all, though a base running error kept ORU from taking the lead.

The road team struck again in the 8th inning. With two on and two out, Gomez was lifted from the game and Giller was summoned from the bullpen. Eckols greeted him with a double off of the left field fence, scoring two runners and giving the Cardinals a 4-2 edge.

Hibbs had pitched 4.2 innings of shutout relief, including the first two batters of the 9th inning, and Lamar was just one out from victory. But Colt prolonged the game with a bloop single, setting the stage for Forcier’s heroics. The junior smashed his first career home run, a no-doubt shot over the right field fence to send the game to extra innings.

Giller retired the first batter in Lamar’s half of the 10th before Provost singled and advanced on a wild pitch. Middleton followed with a single to right, and Boss fumbled the ball attempting to scoop it up. The error allowed Provost to score, giving the Cardinals a 5-4 lead.

The potential game-winning run was in scoring position in ORU’s half of the 10th after two base hits, but Hibbs retired Brandon Healy on a groundout to end the game.

Guillermo Trujillo will take the mound for ORU in tomorrow’s winner-take-all game, while Lamar has yet to name a starter. First pitch is scheduled for 1 pm CT.

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