Score: Auburn 18 - Oral Roberts 11
Records: AU (8-8) - ORU (7-7)
Location: Plainsman Park - Auburn Ala.
AUBURN, Ala. - The Oral Roberts baseball team dropped its series finale to Auburn, 18-11, Sunday afternoon at Plainsman Park in Auburn, Alabama. The Golden Eagles and Tigers combined for 31 hits and 29 runs in a game that saw 12 different hurlers on the mound.
Auburn (8-8) started the day the same way they began Saturday's game, by scoring four runs in the second inning to take the early lead. The Golden Eagles quickly answered to take the lead in the third as the team went for five runs.
That was just the beginning of what would be a see-saw affair for much of the afternoon. After the Tigers tied the ballgame in the fourth, ORU answered with a pair of runs in the fifth to retake the lead after Rolando Martinez and Michael Hungate came up with a pair of base hits to make it 7-5.
The two clubs traded runs in the fifth, before the Golden Eagles took a one-run lead in the sixth after a Nick Rotola sacrifice fly, but the Auburn bats would awaken for seven runs in the bottom half of the frame to break the game open.
In total, the Tigers picked up seven runs on seven hits, including a three-run home run by First Team All-SEC outfielder Anfernee Grier. Six of the seven runs in the inning came with two outs as the Golden Eagle bullpen was unable to find the strike zone, issuing a pair of three walks as AU battled around the order.
Oral ROberts (7-7) did not give up, scoring three runs in the eighth to cut the deficit to just three at 14-11. Redshirt senior Trevin Sonnier led off the inning with a double before third basema Chase Stafford sent a two-run homer out to left center for his first of the season. The Golden Eagles added a run on an infield error.
Auburn added insurance in the eighth as the Tigers struck for four, outing the game out of reach of ORU.
AU's starting pitcher Cole Lipscomb went four and a third innings, allowing seven runs of which four were earned. Izacc Yarbrough earned the win in relief after tossing one and a third innings.
Sophomore Taylor Varnell picked up the no decision after a dour and a third inning outing. The lefty allowed six hits and three earned runs. Right-hander Billy Lovvorn took the loss, after allowing only two earned runs in an inning out work.
- The Tigers now lead the all-time series 2-1.
- AU left 14 runners on base and finished the day 9-of-19 with runners in scoring position.
- The Tigers capitalized with runners on base, going .500 (13-of-26).
- Matt Whatley's hitting streak came to an end Sunday at 16 games dating back to last season after finishing the day 0-for-3 with a pair of walks. The sophomore does however have a team-high 16-game reached base streak.
- The game marks the first time the Golden Eagles had given up 10 runs in a game since last season when Dallas Baptist scored 16 in a loss at J.L. Johnson Stadium on Mar. 16.
The Golden Eagles will wrap up their spring break trip with a pair of midweek games beginning with Jacksonville State Tuesday followed by a game at No. 20 Mississippi State on Wednesday.
For the latest information on ORU baseball, follow @ORUBaseball on Twitter or go to www.ORUAthletics.com. Fans can also receive updates on the team by downloading the Golden Eagles Front Row App at ORUAthletics.com/frontrow or in the App Store.