Four homeruns power Golden Eagles past IPFW

ORU Sports
Scott Slarks, Director of Media Relations

FORT WAYNE, Ind. – The Oral Roberts baseball team continued its power stretch Sunday launching four home runs in a 14-2 win to close the weekend sweep at Fort Wayne and Mastodon Field.

The Golden Eagles tallied 15 total hits picking up another run-rule victory during the series as all nine starters got in the action with at least one hit for the second-consecutive day. Nick Roark and Michael Hungate each finished with three hits as every field player scored a run.

Miguel Ausua extended his streak of scoreless innings on the mound for ORU, while setting a career high with seven strikeouts. The junior has not allowed a run over his last 17.1 innings of work since March 26 after scattering four hits in five shutout frames to earn his fifth win of the season, matching his other weekend starters in wins.

“Collectively, our at-bats were better and more solid with better contact all the way around,” head coach Ryan Folmar said. “The last couple days the ball has been getting out and we were able to feed on that momentum. The thing I like most out there today was that we started stretching the lead early. Then Miguel really settled in and competed by making pitches when he got into trouble.”

Roark carried the momentum from ORU’s 19 hits Saturday getting the afternoon started with a double on the second pitch of the contest. After a sacrifice bunt by Cal Hernandez, Noah Cummings picked up the offense for the Golden Eagles. He drove his team-best eighth home run of the season in the first for a quick 2-0 lead as the visitors never looked back scoring nine runs in the first three innings to take control.

Ausua was forced to work out of several tough situations in the shutout effort leaving all six runners on base, including the bases loaded with one out in the second. He also escaped the fifth inning after Fort Wayne put runners to second and third and no outs getting back-to-back strikeouts before a groundball out.

 The middle of the ORU lineup broke through as the three, four and five hitters (Matt Whatley, Cummings, Brent Williams) all connected for home runs and totaled seven RBI. It was the ninth time the Golden Eagles have registered multiple home runs in a contest and now have 35 on the season.
Not only was Roark impressive on offense going 3-for-5 with two runs scored, the junior from Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, was up to the task defensively. He made a leaping snag on a high chopper behind second base and recovered to fire over to first for a hit-robbing play helping shut down the Mastodons.
Sam Grellner posted three RBI and made the small plays early in the game. He came up with a RBI squeeze bunt and RBI groundout before his only hit, a home run leading off the top of the seventh.
Hungate has been on an extra-base hit tear for ORU hitting two doubles in back-to-back games reaching 10 for the year.
Whatley found a groove Sunday totaling four RBI getting a two-run single in the second inning and added his sixth home run in 2017 in a four-run sixth.
Bryce Howe closed out the seventh inning from the bullpen striking out the side. Harrison Smith made his pitching debut in the sixth combining with Grant Glaze for a strikeout each.

ORU returns home Tuesday night for a matchup against nationally-ranked Oklahoma under the lights at J.L. Johnson Stadium. The action gets underway at 6:30 p.m. with live coverage on ESPN3 and post-game fireworks to follow the in-state contest.