ORU headed back to Summit League baseball championship

ORU Athletics

OMAHA, Neb. – It took 11 innings, but the Oral Roberts baseball team is heading back to the championship of the Summit League tournament after knocking off South Dakota State 5-3 Friday night.

Adam Scoggins played the hero and helped the Golden Eagles fight off elimination, striking out a career-high nine over 3.2 innings of action allowing the offense to secure the extra-inning victory.

Earlier in the day, the Golden Eagles fell to North Dakota State by a score of 5-0, which moved ORU into the elimination game.

Despite recording eight hits in the ballgame, ORU was unable to get anything going offensively against the Bison pitching staff.

In the seventh inning, the Golden Eagles loaded the bases with one out but were unable to push a run across. The following inning, ORU stranded two more runners to squander a scoring threat before suffering the setback.

After the loss, ORU knew it needed to win three-consecutive games to win the Summit League title and head back to the NCAA Tournament. Less than an hour after dropping game one, the Golden Eagles got back to work and began their run to the tournament championship.

ORU got its offense started in the second inning putting three runs on the board to jump out to an early lead over the Jackrabbits. With one out in the inning, Anthony Martinez reached on a fielder’s choice before a throwing error allowed Jordan Wiley to come around to score. Joshua Cox immediately followed by reaching on a fielder’s choice of his own, scoring Adam Oviedo. A single from Jake McMurray capped off the three-run frame, all of which were unearned.

SDSU got a run back in the bottom half of the second before both pitching staffs settled in and threw six shutout innings. The Jackrabbits were able to strike in the eighth inning for two runs to tie the contest at three and force extra innings.

In the eleventh inning, the Golden Eagles capitalized on three hits from Wiley, Martinez and Cox to score two runs. Wiley led off the inning with a single through the right side before advancing on a sacrifice bunt by Brody Gibson and a fly ball by Oviedo.

Martinez broke the tie with a single back through the middle scoring Wiley from third. Cox doubled down the left field line and brought Martinez home to give ORU a 5-3 win following a 1-2-3 frame by Scoggins in the bottom half of the frame.

Game One Turning Point
In the seventh and eighth innings, the Golden Eagles left five runners aboard and wasted a pair of prime scoring opportunities.

Game Two Turning Point
An absolutely dazzling performance from Adam Scoggins led ORU to victory in eleven innings. The All-Summit League Second Team selection threw a career-long 3.2 innings of shutout baseball, mowing down nine Jackrabbits of the 13 he faced along the way.

Inside The Game One Box Score

  • The last four members of the Golden Eagle lineup combined to go just 1-15 at the plate.
  • Isaac Coffey was handed his first loss of the season by a Summit League opponent.
  • Jake McMurray and Caleb Denny both tallied multi-hit games for the Golden Eagles.

Inside The Game Two Box Score

  • ORU is now 21-for-21 when it comes to advancing to the championship final as a Summit League member.
  • The game marked the first extra-inning game in a Summit League tournament since 2014.
  • The 5-3 win was the sixth time ORU has won a game this season, despite being out-hit by their opponent.
  • Scoggins’ nine strikeouts shattered his previous career high of three.
  • Evan Kowalski’s nine strikeouts marks a new career high as he tossed five innings in the start.
  • ORU pitchers struck out a Summit League Tournament record 23 Jackrabbits over 11 innings of action. The previous high was held by the 2009 Golden Eagles, who struck out 17 against Southern Utah.
  • The win marks the third extra-inning victory of the season for ORU.

Up Next
ORU looks to claim their 20th Summit League tournament title Saturday when it takes on North Dakota State. The Golden Eagles will need to win a pair of games over the Bison, beginning at 2 p.m. All the action from Tal Anderson Field can be found on the ORU Sports Network, beginning at 1:45 pm.