Score: Oral Roberts 5 – Missouri State 9
Records: ORU (3-1) – MSU (3-1)
Location: Tulsa, Okla. (J.L. Johnson Stadium)
TULSA, Okla. – Despite a four-run fifth inning, the Oral Roberts baseball team could not hold off Missouri State falling 9-5 in its first mid-week contest Tuesday afternoon at J.L. Johnson Stadium.
The Golden Eagles spotted the Bears three runs in the fourth, but got one run back in the bottom half of the inning on Noah Cummings' solo home run. ORU capitalized on defensive miscues from Missouri State in the fifth to take a 5-3 lead with Trevor McCutchin doubling to start the frame. The sophomore came around to score on a strikeout, wild pitch and Cal Hernandez later scored on another wild pitch. Matt Whatley and Cummings added RBI singles giving the home side its first lead of the contest.
After getting three shutout innings from starter Justin McGregor, the Golden Eagles turned to their bullpen for the remainder of the game, keeping McGregor eligible for the weekend. The relievers struggled over the final six innings allowing six runs in the late innings as the Bears reclaimed the lead and held on for the road win, 9-5.
Quote of the Game
"Obviously, (Noah) led the club in hitting a year ago and is a guy that has turned himself into a really, really good, sound hitter. He is as good as there is. The good thing is you're sitting here at 3-1 and we are excited about that part, but at the same time, we haven't really played well yet. I think once we are able to put some games together and get some games under our belt, and these young guys, especially our bullpen, where roles start to get established, you will see us settle in a little bit." – Head Coach Ryan Folmar
After the Golden Eagles took the lead in the fifth inning, Missouri State answered back with the bases loaded in the top of the sixth. Ryan Skalnik, brother of ORU women's basketball guard, Rachel, cleared the bases with a double pushing the Bears ahead, 6-5, and they did not give up the lead the remainder of the game.
Inside the Box Score
- Cummings belted his second home run of the season and second in as many games, this time sending a liner over the fence in right center. He becomes the first for ORU to accomplish the feat since Michael Hungate in last season's Summit League Championships. The junior went 3-for-4, just a triple shy of hitting for the cycle, adding two RBI.
- Brent Williams added a multi-hit effort for the Golden Eagles going 2-for-3.
- McGregor pitched three innings allowing just two hits and one walk, while striking out two Bear hitters on 36 total pitches.
- Kyler Stout was perfect on the mound for the ninth inning as the redshirt junior struck out two MSU batters in his lone inning of work.
- The Golden Eagles struck out 12 times at the plate Tuesday, marking the second time this season they have recorded double-digit strikeouts.
The Golden Eagles head to Tuscaloosa, Alabama, for their first road test of the season facing perennial power Alabama Feb. 24-26. The three-game series gets underway Friday night at 6:30 p.m. from Sewell-Thomas Stadium with live coverage on the SEC Network.
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