Score: Omaha 6 – Oral Roberts 7
Records: UNO (14-31, 9-14 Summit League) – ORU (32-16, 21-5 Summit League)
Location: Tulsa, Okla. (J.L. Johnson Stadium)
TULSA, Okla. – Kyler Stout set the Golden Eagles' program record with his 27th career save Saturday night at J.L. Johnson Stadium as the Oral Roberts baseball team rallied past Omaha, 7-6. Nick Rotola and Cal Hernandez delivered back-to-back RBI singles in the bottom of the eighth erasing a one-run deficit and clinch The Summit League regular season title.
On a night where ORU's College World Series team from 1978 celebrated its 40th anniversary, the 2018 team secured the 18th-straight league title as a member of The Summit League. Stout tallied the final three outs securing the series victory and his conference-leading 13th save of the season.
Rotola posted three hits and two RBI from the lead-off spot, while Riley Keizor added a two-run double in the first putting the Golden Eagles in front early. ORU's pitching combo of Miguel Ausua, Grant Townsend and Stout held the Mavericks to just six hits with 10 strikeouts as Townsend improved to 5-0 on the year.
Quotes of the Day
"Offensively, we were good pretty much all game. Alex Schmitz came in off the bench and had a huge at-bat in a huge moment. He drew a walk in a pinch-hit appearance that was a huge moment late in the game. I think if you had to point to one at-bat to swing things; that was it for me." – Head Coach Ryan Folmar
"It's unbelievable to have those guys back and celebrate a great team in ORU baseball history. We talked before the game started about how much baseball knowledge was standing in our dugout and to take advantage and seize the moment to go talk to those guys. It was great to have those guys around. There are some special baseball guys in that group that we're just so proud of, and to have them back here tonight was special." – Head Coach Ryan Folmar speaking of the 1978 College World Series reunion
Facing a one-run deficit in the bottom of the eighth following a two-run home run by the Mavericks in the seventh, Andrew Pace led the inning with a single to center. Schmitz stepped in with one out as a pinch hitter and the redshirt sophomore battled to a full-count walk putting the tying run into scoring position. Rotola came through with a RBI single under the glove of the third baseman, on the next pitch, allowing Pace to slide home safely head first. Hernandez continued the rally by tallying a RBI single that plated Rotola from third and gave the Golden Eagles the one-run cushion for Stout to close.
Inside the Box Score
- The Golden Eagles clinched their 18th-consecutive regular season title in The Summit League and the honor of hosting next year's conference tournament. It marks the 24th regular season conference title for ORU all-time. The Golden Eagles also secured the 2017 championship on this date a year ago at home.
- Stout now ranks in the top five of the NCAA this year with 13 saves and tops all ORU closers with 27 in his tenure passing Jeff Eddings (1991-94). Omaha led the ninth with a single off Stout's foot and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt. The tying run advanced to third base on a wild pitch before the senior struck out a batter looking and finished the win on a fly ball to left.
- Rotola extended his hitting streak to 10 games with his third, three-hit effort in that stretch. He started the game with a single and scored on Keizor's double before RBI singles in the sixth and eighth.
- Trevor McCutchin carried his momentum from Friday lacing a lead-off double in the sixth and scored from second on Harrison Smith's RBI single. That tied the game for ORU, 4-4, and Smith later scored on a single from Rotola for a 5-4 advantage.
- Ausua had the chance to pitch in front of his parents and various family members for the first time since moving from Puerto Rico four years ago. The senior finished with a no-decision allowing two earned runs over five innings.
ORU goes for the weekend sweep of Omaha Sunday afternoon on ESPN+ with first pitch slated for 1:05 p.m. The Golden Eagles will honor 12 seniors prior to the game in their final home game of the regular season at J.L. Johnson Stadium.
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