Score: Oklahoma State 1, Oral Roberts 4
Records: OSU (23-19) – ORU (32-11)
Location: Tulsa, Okla. (J.L. Johnson Stadium)
TULSA, Okla. – The Oral Roberts pitching staff shut down in-state rival Oklahoma State in a 4-1, mid-week victory, holding the Cowboys to two hits Tuesday night at J.L. Johnson Stadium.
In front of an announced crowd of more than 2,100 arriving on short notice with the game scheduled less than 28 hours before first pitch, the Golden Eagles used six pitchers to limit OSU to only one run. Taylor Varnell made his first start in more than a year and was in command from the opening pitch throwing four shutout innings for his first win of the season, while Kyler Stout closed out his eighth save.
ORU jumped in front to a 4-0 lead through five frames, highlighted by a two-run single by RBI leader Noah Cummings in the bottom of the fifth, and the bullpen made it stand.
Quote of the Day
"I thought Taylor set the tone. We pitched well all night and were really good on the mound. I thought that was the obvious difference. Taylor getting out there and going four strong innings gave us a great start and our bullpen did its thing coming in and shutting the door. That at bat by Noah, where he fouled off four or five pitches, and bounced a ball up the middle, was a professional type at bat." – Head Coach Ryan Folmar
The Golden Eagles utilized their speed and aggressiveness on the base paths to score the opening run in the third frame. Michael Hungate legged out an infield single and advanced to second as ORU worked a hit-and-run to avoid a potential double play. The move paid dividends as Nick Roark stepped to the plate and lined a two-out double off the wall in right as Hungate scampered home for a 1-0 lead.
Inside the Box Score
- Varnell was brilliant in the last-minute start for the Golden Eagles throwing a season-high four innings fanning a season-best five Cowboy hitters. Recovering from an offseason injury, the junior allowed just two base runners in his first start since April 16, 2016.
- ORU's bullpen went the rest of the way allowing just one hit and had a stretch of retiring 10-straight OSU batters between the third and sixth innings. Spencer Henson, Trevor McCutchin, Grant Glaze, Bryce Howe and Stout combined to pitch the final five innings.
- Stout picked up his conference-best eighth save of the season facing four batters in the ninth as he lowered his earned run average to 0.70 in 20 appearances.
- Cummings, The Summit League's RBI leader, continued to drive runners home adding two RBI in the fifth inning to stretch the Golden Eagles' advantage to 4-0. The junior sent a two-out single back up the middle plating Cal Hernandez and Sam Grellner. Cummings pushed his RBI total to 56 this season, tying for sixth in all of NCAA baseball.
- Brent Williams provided the other RBI for ORU hitting a sacrifice fly with one out in the fourth. Matt Whatley started the inning going to the opposite field for a double before Cummings singled to left leading to the eventual winning run off the bat of Williams.
- The Golden Eagles tied the season series with the Cowboys with another matchup scheduled for May 16 at home. OSU has not won a game at J.L. Johnson Stadium since March of 1995, a span of seven games.
ORU returns to Summit League action heading to Fargo, North Dakota, for a three-game series against North Dakota State May 5-7. The Golden Eagles have a chance to clinch its 17th-consecutive regular season championship over the weekend.
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