Bears Rally Past ORU, 6-5, at SLC Tournament
The winner of the elimination game will face either Lamar or Southeastern Louisiana later Saturday in the Championship Game.
The loss drops ORU to 25-31 overall while the Bears, who have won three straight after losing their SLC Tournament opener, improved to 37-20 overall.
“We have a whole night to sleep on it,” ORU Head Coach Ryan Folmar said of his team’s situation. “I don’t think it (momentum) carries over a whole lot. Tomorrow is a brand new day.”
Guillermo Trujillo (2-1) suffered the loss for ORU despite a valiant relief effort. Trujillo went three innings in relief of starter Tim Zufall, giving up four hits and two runs.
Zufall went 4.2 innings and was unable to hold an early 4-0 lead. The senior allowed three runs, all unearned, while walking six. Phillip Wilson pitched an inning and surrendered the tying run in the 6th inning, while Nathan Garza was on the mound for UCA’s game-winning single.
Clint Green (4-2) pitched 3.2 innings of relief for UCA and earned the victory. Starter Ethan McKenzie went just 3.1 innings and allowed four runs.
Joey Migliaccio and Austen Colt tallied two hits each to pace the Golden Eagles, with Migliaccio scoring twice.
Garrett Brown was 3-for-5 to lead the Bears, with Michael Marietta and Justin Treece each coming up with two hits.
Oral Roberts got on the board in the top of the 1st, turning a walk and a single into a golden opportunity with no one out. But the Golden Eagles could muster only one run, on a Domenico groundout, to take a 1-0 lead.
Zufall found himself in a massive jam in the bottom half of the 1st, as two walks and a single loaded the bases for the Bears with only one out. But the senior buckled down, getting Michael Marietta to pop out and Scott Zimmerle to strike out, and the UCA threat was vanquished.
ORU scored a pair of 2nd inning runs in the wildest possible way. Migliaccio led off the inning with a single and was headed to second on a perfectly-placed bunt by Colt. But UCA committed two errors on the play, throwing the ball away and then fumbling it into the stands, which allowed Migliaccio to jog all the way home uncontested. Later Colt scored on a groundout by Chris Williams, making the score 3-0 in favor of the Golden Eagles.
The bottom of the order again produced a run for ORU in the 4th inning. Migliaccio walked to lead off the frame and scored all the way from first on a Colt double to push the lead to 4-0.
Shaky defense cost the Golden Eagles in the 5th inning, leading to three unearned UCA runs. Kevin Cho dropped a fly ball off the bat of the leadoff hitter, setting the stage for a big inning. Ethan Harris drove home the first run with an RBI double, then Brown and Treece followed with run-scoring singles to cut ORU’s lead to 4-3.
ORU missed an opportunity to reclaim momentum in the 6th inning. The Golden Eagles loaded the bases with one out on a Jose Trevino double and two walks, but Green entered the game to pitch for UCA and extinguished the fire. A Colt pop out and a Williams lineout kept the score 4-3.
Central Arkansas made the Golden Eagles pay in their half of the 6th. An opposite field single from Marietta chased home Harris and tied the game at 4-4.
After two innings of chipping away, the Bears overtook ORU in the 7th inning. Forrest Allday brought home the go-ahead run with a sacrifice fly, though a double play ended the jam with the score 5-4 in UCA’s favor.
ORU pulled even with some two out magic in the 8th inning. Nate Goro doubled into the left field corner, bringing Migliaccio up. The junior delivered, smacking a single up the middle to chasing Goro to the plate and tying the game at 5-5.
But Central Arkansas would complete their comeback with a walk-off win in the 9th inning. With two on and two out, Davis singled through the left side, bringing Brown home to give UCA a 6-5 victory.
The win is UCA’s first of the year over the Golden Eagles after Oral Roberts swept a three-game regular season series in late March.