Oral Roberts Bullpen Holds Of SDSU
Jacks Fall 8-6 In Series Opener
BROOKINGS, S.D. – Five Oral Roberts relievers combined to pitch 7 2/3 scoreless innings for a Golden Eagles squad that opened a three-game Summit League baseball series with an 8-6 victory over South Dakota State Friday afternoon at Erv Huether Field.
With the win, the league-leading Golden Eagles improved to 27-10 overall and 15-1 in league play. SDSU dropped to 15-18 overall and 8-8 in The Summit League.
Early on, the game appeared as though it would be a slugfest, with each team scoring four times in the first inning. Three batters into the game, ORU catcher Matt Whatley put his team ahead 3-0 with a three-run home run to left field. The Golden Eagles’ fourth run scored on a sacrifice fly off the bat of Brent Williams.
SDSU answered as each of the Jackrabbits’ first five batters reached base. Nick Smith continued his hot hitting by slicing a double down the left-field line to lead off the frame. After Josh Kunzmann was hit by a pitch, Matt Johnson lined a double into the right-field corner to plate Smith. Newt Johnson followed with the Jackrabbits’ third double in the inning on a fly ball to center that was lost in the sun, allowing Kunzmann to score. Luke Ringhofer then lined a single into right center to score both Johnsons to knot the game at 4-all.
Whatley gave ORU a momentary 5-4 lead with his fourth RBI in only two innings on a ground-rule double that brought home Sam Grellner.
The Jackrabbits chased ORU starter Justin McGregor, who entered the game with a 6-0 record, with one out in the second inning. Phil Velez and Smith began the inning with back-to-back singles, which were followed later in the inning by a two-run single off the bat of Newt Johnson.
The Golden Eagles grabbed the lead for good in the top of the third, scoring twice and knocking out SDSU starter Austin Kost. After Kost issued consecutive walks to start the inning, Trevor McCutchin plated the tying run with a base hit up the middle. Reliever Brett Mogen then walked the first batter he faced, Nick Roark, to force in the go-ahead run.
From there, the bullpens took over. Grant Glaze pitched five scoreless innings for ORU, striking out a career-high seven batters, while walking two and allowing only one hit.
Mogen was nearly equal to the task as he pitched the final 6 2/3 for SDSU and fanned four, walked two and allowed only a run in the eighth inning to keep the Jackrabbits within striking distance.
Bryce Howe pitched a scoreless eighth inning for ORU, while Kyler Stout worked around a pair of two-out singles in the ninth to record his seventh save of the season.
SDSU held a 13-9 advantage in hits and was led by Smith, who went 3-for-4. Newt Johnson, Velez and Anthony Schneider each tallied a pair of hits. Whatley and McCutchin each posted two hits for the Golden Eagles.
The second game of the series is scheduled for a 1 p.m. first pitch Saturday at Erv Huether Field.
* Oral Roberts has won the last 11 meetings between the two squads, dating back to last season
* SDSU dropped to 4-1 in home games this season
* Ringhofer reached base safely for the 29th consecutive game
* Smith recorded his fourth consecutive multi-hit game and is a combined 13-for-18 (.722 batting average) in that span
* Smith leads the team with 17 multi-hit games in 2017 and ranks second in the Summit League with a .364 batting average
* Newt Johnson drove in three runs in a game for the fifth time this season
* Matt Johnson notched an extra-base hit for the fourth consecutive game to raise his slugging percentage to a team-best .611
* Matt Johnson recorded his 46th career double to moved into a tie with Doug Sehr (1991-94) for eighth place on the Jackrabbit career charts
* Mogen’s 6 2/3 innings was the longest outing by a Jackrabbit pitcher since Brady Stover tossed 6 2/3 innings against Fort Wayne on March 31
ORAL ROBERTS 8, SOUTH DAKOTA STATE 6
ORU 412 000 010 8-9-0
SDSU 420 000 000 6-13-0
ORU: Justin McGregor, Grant Glaze (2), Trevor McCutchin (7), Spencer Henson (7), Bryce Howe (8), Kyler Stout (9) and Matt Whatley. SDSU: Austin Kost, Brett Mogen (3) and Luke Ringhofer.
W-Glaze (3-0). L-Kost (1-7). Save-Stout (7).
HR: ORU-Matt Whatley (7).