ORU gets four hits from Grellner in loss to Kansas

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ORU Sports
Scott Slarks

TULSA – Despite double-digit hits, the Oral Roberts baseball team scratched only two runs across in a 7-2, mid-week loss to Kansas Wednesday night at J.L. Johnson Stadium.

Getting his first start of the season in the outfield, Sam Grellner put together a statement performance reaching base five times, going a career-best 4-for-4 and was hit by a pitch to lead the offense.

The Golden Eagles had chances to get back into the game after an early deficit, totaling 10 hits, but stranded 17 runners on the night, including leaving the bases loaded in both the eighth and ninth innings. ORU had at least one runner on base in all nine innings played, only to have its only runs scored on a two-run single by Dylan Snypes in the bottom of the eighth.

Quote of the Game
“We had a bunch of chances to change the momentum of the game with one swing, but left a lot of guys on base and couldn’t capitalize. Sam was really good and was the one guy that gave us solid at-bats all night long. He gave us a chance, but we have to be tougher in the moment.” – Head Coach Ryan Folmar

Turning Point
Trailing 2-0, the Golden Eagles put two runners into scoring position with one out in the bottom of the sixth as Trevor McCutchin reached base on an error before Grellner ripped a double to right center. Cal Hernandez rolled a ground ball to the KU first baseman, who threw home for a sweeping tag in a run-saving, play at the plate stopping ORU’s momentum

Inside the Box Score
– Grellner is the first ORU player to have hits in four-consecutive at-bats since Matt Whatley accomplished the feat April 15, 2015, against Oklahoma State. He also provided the only extra-base hit for the home side.

– Golden Eagles’ starter Logan Michaels (1-1) was charged with the loss allowing two runs, one earned, in four innings of work with four strikeouts before turning the game over to the bullpen.

– Whatley’s 13-game hit streak came to an end as the junior went 0-for-2 at the plate, but was able to draw two walks and has now reached base safely in all 16 contests this season.

– Nick Roark joined Whatley with a pair of walks and added a single in the fifth. The junior also tallied both of ORU’s stolen bases in the contest to tie for the team’s lead with four this season.

– Taylor Varnell made his first appearance for ORU in nearly a year after missing time with an injury. The junior struck out one in an inning of scoreless relief allowing one hit. Bryce Howe, Grant Glaze, Bill Lovvorn and Ryan McCollough also pitched one scoreless frame from the pen.

– The seven, eight and nine hitters for Kansas went a combined 7-for-14 at the plate with three runs scored.

Up Next
ORU begins play in The Summit League with a three-game set against North Dakota State March 17-19 at J.L. Johnson Stadium. The series gets underway Friday night at 6:30 p.m. with live video, audio and stats available at www.ORUAthletics.com.