Golden Eagles claim 17th Summit League championship title

From ORU Sports Info.
Tim McCaughan, Media Relations Assistant

TULSA, Okla. — Oral Roberts baseball continued its dominance of The Summit League Saturday afternoon as the Golden Eagles collected their 17th Summit League Championship and the League’s automatic big to the NCAA Tournament.

Coming into the day, Oral Roberts needed to win two games over Fort Wayne to claim the League title. Golden Eagle starting pitching shined throughout, holding the Mastodons to only four runs on the day, including a gem from freshman Josh McMinn in the opener as he went a complete game and allowed only one run keeping the bullpen fresh for the Championship game.

Head Coach Ryan Folmar made the call for another freshman in Trevor McCutchin to start the nightcap and it paid off as the southpaw held IPFW in his outing, going four and two third innings and holding Fort Wayne to six hits.

Nick Rotola was named Tournament MVP after collecting six hits and scoring 10 of ORU’s 34 runs. The junior from Wichita, Kansas finished with two home runs and two double in four games.


The Basics – Game One
Score: No. 1 Oral Roberts 4, No. 3 Fort Wayne 1 
Records: Oral Roberts (37-19), Fort Wayne (33-25)
Location: J.L. Johnson Stadium – Tulsa, Okla.


TULSA, Okla. — (Courtesy of Greg Mette, The Summit League) Top-seeded Oral Roberts forced a decisive game two in The Summit League Championship with a 3-1 victory over No. 3 Fort Wayne Saturday, at J.L. Johnson Stadium.

Golden Eagle starting pitcher Josh McMinn tossed the first complete game of the tournament and of his season allowing just one run on six strikeouts and no walks.

After a quick first three innings, both teams scored a run in the fourth. Oral Roberts got a solo home run from Noah Cummings while Fort Wayne got a single and double from Greg Kaiser and Evan VanSumeren.

Following a single (Rolando Martinez) and double (Hungate), Chase Stafford drove-in the eventual game-winning runs on a bloop single to left centerfield.

Oral Roberts added its fourth run on Cummings’ second home run of the game, a solo shot that just carried over the left field wall.

Turning Point
Chase Stafford drove in a pair of runs with a bloop single to left centerfield in the top of the seventh inning breaking a 1-1 tie. Rolando Martinez, who singled, advanced to third on a Michael Hungate double prior to Stafford’s base hit.

Inside The Box Score

  • Oral Roberts starting pitcher Josh McMinn tossed the first complete game of the tournament. McMinn had six strikeouts and no walks.
  • Michael Hungate and Noah Cummings led the offensive attack for ORU with three hits and two hits apiece. Both of Cummings’ hits were homers.
  • Evan VanSumeren went a perfect 3-for-3 to lead the Mastodons.
  • ORU’s Josh McMinn (6-2) earned the victory while IPFW’s Jordan Martin (3-1) suffered his first loss of the season.

The Basics – Game Two
Score: No. 1 Oral Roberts 14, No. 3 Fort Wayne 3 
Records: Oral Roberts (38-19), Fort Wayne (33-26)
Location: J.L. Johnson Stadium – Tulsa, Okla.


TULSA, Okla. — (Courtesy of Greg Mette, The Summit League) No. 1 Oral Roberts captured The Summit League Baseball Championship title with a 14-3 victory over third-seeded Fort Wayne Saturday, at J.L. Johnson Stadium in Tulsa, Okla.

Oral Roberts wasted little time in putting runs on the scoreboard as it tallied three in the second and then at least one every inning after. The Golden Eagles got a pair of doubles and a single in the inning.

The Mastodons pulled to within three runs at 4-1 with a solo home run by Greg Kaiser but allowed two more in the bottom of the inning.

ORU added two in the sixth, three in the seventh and two more in the eighth to make it a 14-3 final.

ORU relief pitcher Nathan Garza (2-0) was credited with the win while Brady Womacks (14) got the save. Damian Helm (3-3) suffered the loss for Fort Wayne.

Turning Point
The three runs Oral Roberts scored in the bottom of the second inning was all that it needed en route to the 14-3 final. The Golden Eagles would go on to score at least one run in every inning except the first.

Inside The Box Score

  • Oral Roberts scored a run in every inning of the game except the first.
  • ORU’s Matt Whatley led all players with four hits along with three RBI and two runs scored.
  • Brandon Soat led the Mastodons with three hits and two RBI.

News & Notes

  • This marks the second consecutive year Oral Roberts and Fort Wayne has squared-off in the title game.
  • This marked just the second time ORU need two championship games to capture the title (2012 vs. North Dakota State).
  • The No. 3 seed is still the only seed to not win The Summit League Tournament, despite reaching the final six years.
  • Oral Roberts improves to 56-3 all-time in Summit League Tournament history.

All-Tournament Team
Adam Caniglia, Omaha
Tyler Fox, Omaha
Michael Hungate, Oral Roberts
Greg Kaiser, Fort Wayne
Brock Logan, Fort Wayne
Will McAffer, South Dakota State
Josh McMinn, Oral Roberts
Luke Ringhofer, South Dakota State
Nick Roark, Oral Roberts
Nick Rotola, Oral Roberts
Brandon Soat, Fort Wayne
Evan VanSumeren, Fort Wayne
Phil Velez, South Dakota State
Matt Whatley, Oral Roberts

Up Next
Oral Roberts will await its placement as The Summit League’s automatic qualifier to the NCAA Regionals. The selection show takes place Monday at 11 a.m. CT on ESPNU.