Score: No. 1 Omaha 3 – No. 3 Oral Roberts 2
Records: UNO (30-21-1) – ORU (27-25)
Score: No. 3 Oral Roberts 4 – No. 2 South Dakota State 0
Records: ORU (28-25) – SDSU (28-22)
Location: Tulsa, Okla. (J.L. Johnson Stadium)
TULSA, Okla. – The Oral Roberts baseball team dropped its opening game of the day to Omaha, 3-2, before picking up an elimination game win over South Dakota State, 4-0, Friday at J.L. Johnson Stadium.
The Golden Eagles advanced to the 2019 Summit League Championship finals on the arm of freshman Isaac Coffey who pitched a complete-game shutout over the Jackrabbits in game two. ORU again will face Omaha Saturday needing to win twice to advance to the NCAA Regional.
The Golden Eagles used RBI singles from Riley Keizor and Coffey in the bottom of the first inning of the opener to jump in front of the Mavericks, 2-0, but two unearned runs in the seventh inning handed Omaha the lead setting up the double dip.
Single runs in the second and third innings on a Blake Hall RBI single and Keizor RBI double, respectively, put ORU ahead again in the finale. This time the lead stuck as Coffey dominated the Jackrabbits lineup allowing just five hits in the first complete game and shutout of his career. He held the opposition to only two runners into scoring position and faced three batters in seven of nine innings on the mound.
Quote of the Day
"I tell you what, that was a big performance on the mound from Isaac Coffey. He was in the strike zone all day, kept the ball on the ground for the most part and let the defense play well behind him. We needed a good start out of him today and he certainly gave us that." - Head Coach Ryan Folmar
Game One Turning Point
An errant throw by the ORU defense on a sacrifice bunt attempt in the top of the seventh inning allowed an Omaha runner to score from first base to tie the game, 2-2, following a lead-off single. The Mavericks added a sacrifice fly on the next batter taking their first lead of the day capitalizing on the extra out for a pair of unearned runs.
Inside the Game One Box Score
- Blake Hall led the offense with a 2-for-4 effort, including an infield single to open the bottom of the ninth. He eventually reached third as the potential tying run with two outs.
- Spencer Henson found himself without much to swing at as Omaha elected to pitch around the NCAA leader in slugging percentage. Henson tied his career high by walking three times, including twice intentionally, and went 0-for-1 overall.
- ORU starter Matt Gaskins was able to pitch himself out of most trouble after allowing a base runner in every inning. The junior gave up three runs, one earned, over 6.1 frames and struck out four. Trevor McCutchin tossed 1.2 innings from the bullpen allowing a hit and walked three, but held Omaha without a run.
- Trey Wolf retired three-consecutive batters in the ninth inning after entering the game with a runner in scoring position. It was his 23rd appearance of the season, tying for second in single-season history for a freshman.
Game Two Turning Point
Already holding a 2-0 lead over the Jackrabbits, three errors by the No. 2 seed in the top of the ninth led to two unearned, insurance runs for the Golden Eagles and sealed the victory. Hall had the lone hit of the frame, a bunt single with two strikes and no outs, while Jake McMurray drove in the final tally on a sacrifice fly.
Inside the Game Two Box Score
- Coffey registered his best outing of the season as the freshman tossed a career-long eight scoreless innings and matched his career best by striking out nine. Starting with an inning-ending double play in the first, the Goleta, California, native retired 13-straight hitters until a Jackrabbits single opening the sixth inning snapped the streak.
- Keizor and Hall led the offense totaling two-hit and one-RBI outings apiece as ORU out-hit the Jackrabbits 8-5.
- The Golden Eagles turned in a brilliant throw in each game started by Hunter Swift cutting down a runner down at third base in game one. As a defensive replacement in the sixth against SDSU, Trevor McCutchin followed his teammate's throw and fired home to catch a Jackrabbits runner at the plate.
ORU will take on the No. 1 seed Omaha Saturday morning at 11 a.m. and must win to extend its season to a winner-take-all finale later in the afternoon at J.L. Johnson Stadium.
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