Minissale Throws Gem as ORU Shuts Out Nebraska, 8-0
ORU improves to 48-13 and will now play UC-Irvine on Sunday night at 6:05 p.m. The Golden Eagles need to beat the Anteaters twice before advancing to the next round. No. 1 seed Nebraska saw their season come to an end with a 41-16-1 record.
Minissale finished with 8.1 innings of work, allowing just two hits while striking out two to improve to 3-3 on the year.
Brian Van Kirk gave the Golden Eagles an early 1-0 lead with an RBI single in the bottom of the first. Brendan Duffy laid down a bunt single to start things off for ORU then advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Minissale. A wild pitch by Nebraska’s starter Thad Weber (9-5) on a strikeout pitch to Ben Petralli allowed Duffy to move to third. Then Van Kirk gave the Golden Eagles another two-out RBI with a single through the right side.
ORU stretched their early lead to 2-0 in the second on a RBI single through the left side by Adam Younger that plated Michael Notaro.
A four-run third by the Golden Eagles extended ORU’s lead to 6-0. Notaro had the big at-bat in the inning with a deep three-run home run that cleared the right field fence easily. Duffy scored the first run of the inning on a passed ball by Nebraska catcher Mitch Abeita. All four runs in the frame came with two outs in the board.
Nebraska had their first big offensive threat with runners on first and second in the top of the fourth, but Minissale forced the Cornhuskers to hit into back-to-back groundouts, ending the threat.
Duffy scored his third run of the day in the bottom of the fourth on Petralli’s RBI single as ORU built a commanding 7-0 lead.
The Golden Eagles added an insurance run in the sixth inning for an 8-0 advantage. ORU loaded the bases on two singles and a hit batsman with only one out before forcing Nebraska’s fourth pitcher to enter the game. Genao scored the ORU run in the inning when he grounded into a fielder’s choice that scored Petralli from third.
Nebraska finally ended Minissale’s no-hit bid in the top of the seventh when Tyler Farst was able to get a grounder past the diving attempt by second baseman Juan Martinez. However, the hit did not amount to much because Minissale forced a 6-4-3 double play and a pop up to end the inning.
The Cornhuskers threatened in their last at-bat by finally forcing Minissale out of the game with runners on first and second and one out. Michael Jarman came in relief for Minissale and was able to end NU’s threat by getting the last two batters out.