Score: Kansas 1 – Oral Roberts 12
Records: KU (2-6) – ORU (7-1)
Location: Lawrence, Kan. (Hoglund Ballpark)
LAWRENCE, Kan. – Brent Williams hit two monster home runs as the bats came alive for Oral Roberts baseball in a 12-1 mid-week victory on the road at Kansas totaling eight extra-base hits Tuesday afternoon at Hoglund Ballpark.
Williams finished the day with a career-best five RBI and three runs scored posting a 3-for-5 effort as the team went 7-for-13 with runners in scoring position. The senior from Colorado Springs, Colorado, launched two of the Golden Eagles' three home runs on the day combining with Noah Cummings to hit back-to-back long balls in the top of the ninth inning. It marked the first time ORU has hit back-to-back home runs since the same duo accomplished the feat last April at Fort Wayne.
The Jayhawks had chances to cut into the early deficit, but left the bases loaded in both the first and second innings. KU, opening an eight-game homestand, put its only run across in the fourth, only to see the Golden Eagles answer with a four-run fifth, highlighted by a three-run home run off the bat of Williams to straight away center field for a 9-1 lead.
Quote of the Game
"I thought the difference in the game tonight really was our defense; I really do. We gave up some free bases early, but were able to make a couple pitches and play really well defensively. We got some timely hits too. We had some good swings in big moments and were able to pull away late. That adds confidence to what you're doing on the mound and defensively, but I thought it was a good team effort here today." – Head Coach Ryan Folmar
The Golden Eagles got off to a quick start posting a five-run first inning to take charge of the non-conference matchup. Nick Roark drew a one-out walk before stealing second base and Matt Whatley followed with an RBI single for a 1-0 lead. Cummings doubled into left and came around to score on Williams' single before Trevor McCutchin added an RBI double into right center. Cal Hernandez capped the inning with a two-run single into right pushing ORU's early advantage to 5-0.
Inside the Box Score
- Eight of the Golden Eagles' nine starting hitters posted at least one hit in the contest with the middle of the lineup (Whatley, Cummings, Williams, Michael Hungate) going a combined 9-for-18 with eight RBI and nine runs scored. Hungate added two of the team's five doubles.
- Cummings, the reigning Summit League Player of the Week, picked up where he left off in Alabama going 2-for-4 with three runs scored and his team-leading fourth home run. The junior has now recorded a hit in every ORU game this season and tallied an RBI in all but one, for a blistering .906 slugging percentage.
- Whatley is starting to heat up as he extended his hit streak to six games and also has reached base safely in all eight games in 2017. The catcher posted his first multi-RBI performance of the year.
- Williams was able to turn around his recent slump by breaking out for a career day at the plate against the Jayhawks. It was the first time he has hit two home runs in a single game during his ORU career becoming the first Golden Eagle to do so since Cummings did so in last year's conference tournament.
- The Golden Eagles flashed their leather across the diamond getting brilliant stops from nearly every fielder. Nick Roark came up with the gem of the season, a highlight-reel sliding effort to make a catch in foul territory in the sixth inning.
- Not to be overshadowed by the gaudy offensive numbers, the ORU pitching staff limited Kansas to one run despite seven hits and 10 runners left on base. Justin McGregor picked up his second win of the year throwing three scoreless innings allowing four hits with three strikeouts.
- ORU's bullpen added another quality effort holding off the Jayhawks to three hits throwing the final six innings. Grant Glaze, Spencer Henson, Ryan McCollough and Kyler Stout each pitched an inning and were nearly flawless allowing only one base runner.
The Golden Eagles travel to Minneapolis, Minnesota for three games March 3-5 at the Dairy Queen Classic starting Friday by facing the host Golden Gophers at 6:30 p.m. with coverage available on Big Ten Network Plus.
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