Score: North Dakota State 0, Oral Roberts 7
Records: NDSU (31-25) – ORU (42-14)
Location: Tulsa, Okla. (J.L. Johnson Stadium)
TULSA, Okla. – Miguel Ausua went the distance throwing a complete-game shutout to send Oral Roberts to a 7-0 victory over North Dakota State in the Summit League Championship earning an automatic bid into the NCAA Baseball Regionals.
Ausua, the 2017 conference pitcher of the year, was electric all day, despite the heat and humidity of a Saturday matinee at J.L. Johnson Stadium to earn tournament MVP honors. The junior needed only 88 pitches for his first collegiate complete game and held the Bison to five hits, all singles, with only one base runner reaching third all game.
Cal Hernandez scored the eventual winning run for the Golden Eagles in the bottom of the first capitalizing on a one-out walk. After two more free passes to Matt Whatley and Noah Cummings, Brent Williams hit a sacrifice fly to plate the go-ahead run and enough run support for Ausua and the brilliant ORU defense.
The No. 1-seed Golden Eagles scored five times during a 45-minute bottom of the sixth inning to break open the contest and win their ninth-straight game and 18th-consecuitve Summit League tournament title. Sam Grellner and Hernandez tallied two-run hits in the frame and Williams added his second RBI on a single pushing the lead to 7-0.
Quote of the Game
"It seems like (championships) get tougher and tougher. I thought North Dakota State had a great year. But proud of our guys, proud of the way they played, and Miguel was special here today. The defense turned a couple of double plays in big moments again today and it was just a good team win for us." – Head Coach Ryan Folmar
Ausua shined from the opening frame getting a swinging strikeout on the first NDSU batter and retired the visitors in order on just eight pitches setting the tone for the afternoon. The defense helped their hurler turning inning-ending double plays in the second and fourth innings as the Peñuelas, Puerto Rico, native faced the minimum over the first 19 batters faced. The Bison got two singles in the seventh before Ausua forced the third double play of the contest ending the threat as he cruised to his 11th win of the season.
Inside the Box Score
- Ausua's complete-game shutout was the first since Nick Wood accomplished the feat April 9, 2016 at Western Illinois. The junior improved to 11-2 on the year, tying for second in the NCAA in wins and lowered his earned run average to 1.67. He forced 14 ground ball outs and five fly balls going with his five strikeouts and zero walks.
- Hernandez paced the offense going 2-for-4 with two RBI and two runs scored, while Williams also added a pair of hits and RBI. The pair posted the only extra-base hits of the championship game as Williams hit a double in the third and Hernandez ripped a double in the sixth.
- The five-run sixth inning was the 16th time ORU has scored five or more runs in a single inning this season.
ORU awaits its fate from the NCAA selection committee to determine where it will travel for regionals and will find out 11 a.m. Monday during the announcement on ESPN2. Join the Golden Eagles for the official watch party in the south lobby of the Mabee Center starting at 10:45 a.m.
Miguel Ausua, Oral Roberts (MVP)
Noah Cummings, Oral Roberts
Conner Currier, Western Illinois
Drew Fearing, North Dakota State
Sam Grellner, Oral Roberts
Bryce Hanson, South Dakota State
Jordan Harms, North Dakota State
Josh Kunzmann, South Dakota State
Trevor McCutchin, Oral Roberts
Justin McGregor, Oral Roberts
Ben Petersen, North Dakota State
Reed Pfannenstein, North Dakota State
Mason Pierzchalski, North Dakota State
Kyler Stout, Oral Roberts
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