Score: No. 12 Oklahoma State 5 – Oral Roberts 6
Records: OSU (27-15-1, 15-3 Big 12) – ORU (27-15, 16-5 Summit League)
Location: Tulsa, Okla. (J.L. Johnson Stadium)
TULSA, Okla. – Nick Roark's solo home run in the fifth inning proved the deciding factor as the Oral Roberts baseball team held off a late rally by No. 12 Oklahoma State in a 6-5, upset victory Tuesday night at J.L. Johnson Stadium. The win stretched the Golden Eagles' win streak to a season-high six games and snapped a seven-game streak for the nationally-ranked Cowboys.
After the Golden Eagles took command early with a five-run first inning, thanks to a bases-clearing double by Jared Montoya, Roark padded the lead on his second home run of the season. The Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, product lined the first pitch of the fifth off the foul pole in left to push the margin to 6-0. The Cowboys answered back plating five runs in the seventh and had chances to even the score, but it was the ORU bullpen and defense that held strong to the finish throwing out the tying run at the plate in the ninth inning.
Taylor Varnell pitched four incredible innings in the start giving up one hit before exiting with an injury to open the fifth. Brady Womacks, Grant Townsend, Colton Larkins and Kyler Stout tossed the final five innings and combined to strike out nine, preserving the Golden Eagles' ninth victory in the last 10 meetings against OSU.
Quote of the Day
"There were a lot of ups and downs throughout that game. I think the message is sometimes you have to take the emotion of the game. But we hung on. I was proud of the back end. I thought Colton came in and did some good work and Kyler kind of did his thing. We did just enough here tonight." – Head Coach Ryan Folmar
The Golden Eagles made a play defensively in the top of the ninth to preserve the victory as an OSU runner tried to score from first base as the potential tying run. Noah Cummings made a throw to Roark, who relayed home to Riley Keizor for the tag at home plate as he was run over by the Cowboy. The sophomore held on to the ball and the call was upheld after a lengthy video review allowing Stout to finish off the season sweep on the next batter.
Inside the Box Score
- ORU starter Taylor Varnell was on point over four innings as he held the Cowboys off the scoreboard allowing just one hit with four strikeouts. He was at his best fanning a pair to end a threat in the fourth with two runners in scoring position.
- Cal Hernandez and Nick Rotola finished the night 2-for-4 at the plate to lead the Golden Eagles offensively. Hernandez started the momentum-swinging first inning as he roped a double to right field and five of the next six batters reached safely. Rotola tallied a RBI groundout in the first and dropped a bunt single in the eighth adding his second stolen base of the contest.
- Spencer Henson posted a RBI single in the first and Jack Rosenberg battled to a walk loading the bases. Montoya came through with a big swing, in a 0-2 count, pulling a three-run double down the line in left.
- Townsend did not have his best stuff, but fought back to strike out back-to-back hitters ending the seventh as the tying run was just 90 feet from home plate.
- The Golden Eagles tallied a rare, four-strikeout inning in the eighth with Stout punching out the last two hitters as OSU had a runner in scoring position. The senior closed out his 10th ballgame of the year throwing the final 1.2 innings giving up two hits.
ORU hits the road for a four-game swing starting with a Summit League series in Fargo, North Dakota, to face North Dakota State May 4-6. The three-game set with the Bison gets underway Friday night at 6:30 p.m.
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