Score: No. 4 South Dakota State 8 – No. 1 Oral Roberts 13
Records: SDSU (16-31) – ORU (36-18)
Location: Tulsa, Okla. (J.L. Johnson Stadium)
TULSA, Okla. – Eleven runs in the first four innings and a six-RBI night from Cal Hernandez powered the Oral Roberts baseball team to a 13-8 victory over South Dakota State Wednesday night in its opening game of the 2018 Summit League Championship at J.L. Johnson Stadium.
After rain and lightning in the area forced first pitch back more than two and a half hours, the Golden Eagles came out and smashed the baseball totaling 14 hits led by the career outing from Hernandez, who tallied three hits and finished a triple shy of hitting for the cycle.
The Golden Eagles capitalized in clutch moments registering nine hits with two outs, including a pair during a five-run second inning, as eight different players scored at least one run for ORU.
Not to be overlooked was the ORU defense that turned four critical double plays with runners in scoring position. Two of those came with the bases loaded to preserve the important win in the double-elimination championship event.
Quotes of the Day
"Cal made some big swings in big moments, and as it turned out, those were all very crucial. I thought the three-run double in the second inning was a big momentum swing and it put them on the ropes a little bit early. But he was really good. He was locked in tonight." – Head Coach Ryan Folmar
The Golden Eagles tagged SDSU for five runs in the second to take control of the rain-delayed contest. ORU loaded the bases with no outs before back-to-back strikeouts nearly ended the threat without a run scored. Hernandez had other plans as he ripped a bases-clearing double down the line in left. Cummings followed by launching a no-doubt home run to left on the very next pitch pushing the Golden Eagles in front, 6-1.
Inside the Box Score
- Hernandez had his best all-around performance of the season for the Golden Eagles as the redshirt junior went 3-for-4 at the plate with a career-best six RBI and three runs scored. He drew a walk and scored in the first before the three-run double in the second and tallied a RBI single to center in the third. The Coppell, Texas, native tacked on a two-run home run in the seventh.
- Nick Roark added three hits, including his team-leading fourth triple in the seventh, and Trevor McCutchin posted three RBI on a 2-for-4 night. Riley Keizor drew three of ORU's eight walks and Andrew Pace tallied two as the pair each scored twice.
- Cummings, the Summit League Player of the Year selected Tuesday, launched a two-run home run in the second and added a RBI single the next inning. He moved his career RBI total to 194 and is one away from second place in program history (Mike Shambaugh – 195, 1984-87).
- Colton Larkins was effective from the bullpen throwing a career-long 3.1 innings giving up two runs on five hits with a pair of punch outs for the win. Brady Womacks went the final two innings without allowing a run and struck out two.
- ORU starter Miguel Ausua, named Summit League Pitcher of the Year for the second-straight season, lasted 3.2 innings allowing six runs on eight hits with two strikeouts.
The Golden Eagles continue their postseason championship aspirations facing the No. 3 seed Bison of North Dakota State Thursday night. First pitch at J.L. Johnson Stadium is slated for 6 p.m. with live coverage available on the ORU Sports Network.
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