Oral Roberts forces deciding game
Guest fires complete game to lead Golden Eagles to victory
FORT WORTH, Texas -- Fourth-seeded Oral Roberts kept its Super Regional hopes alive Sunday evening with a 7-2 victory against No. 3 seed Dallas Baptist in the Fort Worth Regional at Lupton Stadium.
The Golden Eagle win forces a Monday do-or-die contest between ORU (39-21) and DBU (41-18) that will be played at 7 p.m. The surviving team will face either Baylor or Cal in the Super Regional.
Starter Mark Guest provided Oral Roberts’ beleaguered pitching staff with a much-needed lift after the squad had used 10 pitchers through its first three games. Guest, who improved to 2-0 on the year, stepped up by going the distance, allowing only five hits, two walks and two runs on 129 pitches. He entered the day having pitched only 16 innings all season.
While Guest was dealing on the mound, ORU’s 4-5-6 hitters were providing more than enough offense to force Monday’s decisive game. Designated hitter Brandon King, shortstop Cam Schiller and first baseman Jared Schlehuber combined to go 6-for-13 with all seven of the squad’s runs batted in.
DBU starter Will Lane (3-1) took the loss, allowing five runs, four earned, on three hits and three walks in four innings of work. Third baseman Kenny Hatcher accounted for two of the Patriots’ five hits, while first baseman Ryan Behmanesh smacked a double for the squad’s only extra-base hit.
Oral Roberts jumped on top by a 4-0 count after scoring a pair of runs in both the first and third innings. The Golden Eagles loaded the bases in the first with one outafter right fielder Nick Baligod was hit by a pitch, left fielder Chris Elder walked and Schiller singled up the middle. Schlehuber recorded his fifth and sixth RBI of the regional on a single to center, driving in both Baligod and Elder.
King made it 4-0 in the top of the third, launching an 0-1 pitch from Lane over the right field fence and driving in Elder, who had walked in the previous at-bat. Elder walked in all five of his plate appearances, which fell only one shy of the ORU school record.
Dallas Baptist answered ORU’s quick start with single runs in both the third and fourth innings before Guest shut the door on the Patriots. The Dallas native retired 17 of the last 18 batters to walk to the plate Sunday.
First baseman Ryan Behmanesh drove in DBU’s first run on a double in the third inning, while shortstop Joel Hutter, who walked to lead off the bottom of the fourth, later scored on an RBI groundout by catcher Duncan McAlpine.
ORU added insurance runs in the fifth, eighth and ninth innings. King drove home his third run on a single to center field that plated catcher Joey Winiecki in the fifth, while Schiller hit a solo home run over the right field fence to lead off the eighth. Schiller then added a sac fly in the top of the ninth that scored Baligod.