Score: Minnesota 4 – Oral Roberts 3
Records: UMN (5-3) – ORU (7-2)
Location: Minneapolis, Minn. (U.S. Bank Stadium)
MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. – The Oral Roberts baseball team got a game-tying home run from Matt Whatley in the bottom of the ninth to force extra innings, but could not pull off the win at Minnesota, falling 4-3 in 13 innings Friday night at U.S. Bank Stadium.
The Golden Gophers loaded the bases with no outs in the 13th inning and scored the winning run on a sacrifice fly into center ending the opening game of the Dairy Queen Classic for both squads.
The Golden Eagles staked a 2-0 lead in the second inning as Sam Grellner quickly got the offense started sending an RBI double into left scoring Noah Cummings from second base to capitalize on a Gopher error. Harrison Smith added a run drawing a bases-loaded walk before the offense fell stagnant.
Minnesota evened the score with four walks in the fourth frame, including two with the bases loaded, and took the lead in the fifth leading to Whatley's late-game blast that knotted the score 3-3.
Quote of the Game
"We were bad offensively and that was the story of the day. Trevor (McCutchin) came in and gave us a chance knocking down some innings and Kyler (Stout) came in and did his thing. Again, the difference was that we were just really poor offensively." – Head Coach Ryan Folmar
Minnesota used a walk to start the 13th inning followed by a single to right putting runners on the corners against ORU reliever Ryan McCollough. Another walk loaded the bases with no outs before Cole McDevitt hit a fly ball into center to plate the winning run on the sacrifice fly.
Inside the Box Score
- Whatley picked the perfect time for his first extra-base hit of the season launching the tying home run in the top of the ninth inning. The solo shot also pushed his hitting streak to seven games as the junior has reached base safely every game of 2017.
- Cummings kept his streak of reaching base safely intact, stretching it to nine games, with a walk in the third inning, but his hitting streak was snapped at eight games.
- Trevor McCutchin came into the game in long relief for the Golden Eagles and put together another strong effort from the bullpen. The sophomore pitched a career-best 5.2 innings allowing just two hits and one run.
- Michael Hungate's performance in left field was second to none totaling 10 put outs and one assist. The senior made a sliding catch in foul territory ending the ninth inning and chased down two others deep into the left-center gap robbing hits from the tournament hosts, including an inning-ending double play throwing back to get a runner at first.
- After exploding for 12 runs and 13 hits in its mid-week game at Kansas, ORU fell quiet Friday night recording just three against Minnesota. The Golden Eagles did not get a runner on base from the fifth through the eighth inning as 16-straight batters were retired until Whatley's home run.
- ORU is now in the record books having played in the first-ever, extra-inning baseball game in U.S. Bank Stadium history. It was the second time the Golden Eagles have gone past the scheduled nine innings after winning a 13-inning affair against Little Rock opening weekend.
ORU quickly returns to the diamond Saturday facing another opponent from the Big Ten Conference taking on Iowa. First pitch against the Hawkeyes is slated for 12 p.m. at U.S. Bank Stadium.
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