ORU clinches league title behind four solo home runs in shutout of Omaha

ORU Sports
Scott Slarks, Director of Media Relations

TULSA – The Oral Roberts baseball team clinched its 17th-straight Summit League regular season championship by launching four solo home runs in an 8-0 shutout over Omaha Friday night at J.L. Johnson Stadium.

Michael Hungate hit two solo home runs, while Matt Whatley and Noah Cummings added home runs of their own, going back-to-back in the fifth, as the Golden Eagles tallied 11 hits on the night with nine going for extra-bases.

The offense gave starting pitcher Justin McGregor (8-0) more than enough run support as the junior cruised to his eighth win of the year, allowing only five hits. He stays unbeaten on the season after throwing six, shutout frames against the Mavericks striking out eight.

“I think you’ve got to be proud of that run (in The Summit League),” head coach Ryan Folmar said. “It’s special to be part of it. We told the guys after the game tonight that we’re proud of them. They put themselves in a position to come out here and get it done early and we were able to do just that. We enjoy this one tonight, but ultimately we have our sights set on a conference tournament title, and that’s where we shift to now.”

 

ORU opened the scoring in the second inning and never looked back as Cummings drew a lead-off walk. Brent Williams followed by pulling a RBI triple, that bounced off the top of the wall in left field and back into play, as he scampered around for the second triple of his career. Dylan Snypes extended the margin to 2-0 plating Williams on a groundout to second and the Golden Eagles were in control for their 21st conference win of the year.

Hungate turned in the first multi-home run performance of his career, hitting solo shots in the fourth and eighth innings. The senior entered the evening with one long ball this season, coming in walk-off fashion in the 13th inning against Little Rock opening weekend (Feb. 18). He closed the contest 2-for-4 with two runs and two RBI.

Cummings finished the night perfect at the plate going 3-for-3 with two RBI, two runs scored and a walk, needing just a triple for the cycle. He increased his league-leading RBI total to 61 moving into a tie for seventh in the NCAA and hit his 12th home run of the campaign.
Friday marked the fifth time this season that ORU hitters have blasted back-to-back home runs. The two round trippers from Hungate was the fourth time in 2017 that a Golden Eagle has posted two home runs in a game as the team total increased to 56 on the year, ranking 24th in the nation.
McGregor retired 10 of 11 batters faced from the third through sixth innings on his way to a scoreless outing. The junior from Midwest City, Oklahoma, pitched six innings holding the Mavericks to five hits and dropping his earned run average to 2.55.
Spencer Henson and Harrison Smith pitched the final three innings from the Golden Eagles’ bullpen keeping Omaha off the scoreboard. Henson struck out the side in the eighth totaling four punch outs and Smith struck out one in the ninth.
Cal Hernandez and Trevor McCutchin added extra-base hits for ORU with doubles.

 

The Golden Eagles and Mavericks are back in action Saturday afternoon at J.L. Johnson Stadium with live coverage on ESPN3. First pitch is slated for 2 p.m.