NORMAN, Okla. - The early portion of the 2013 season has been full of heartbreak for the Oral Roberts baseball program. They may be none more heartbreaking than Tuesday night's loss, as the Golden Eagles fell in a marathon at No. 17 Oklahoma, 9-8.
Oklahoma struck first in the top of the first with four runs on three hits, a hit batter and an ORU error. However, the Golden Eagles answered quickly in the next half inning, putting a six-spot on the board.
Chris Williams got the scoring going in the inning with a double to left field, followed by an Austen Colt single and a Sam Parker walk to load the bases. Brandon Healy followed Parker's walk by taking four straight balls, pushing Williams across for the first run.
After Healy and Goro advanced 90-feet on a wild pitch, Logan Domenico made the Sooners pay with a single to right to score Healy. The third Sooner wild pitch of the inning with Tyler Boss at the plate costs a run as the ball got away enough to allow Goro to reach home easily.
The final run of the inning came as the hit parade continued. This time it was Matt Brandy getting into the act with a single to center to drive in Domenico.
Two innings later, the Golden Eagles added two more runs to extend the lead to 8-4. Goro picked up his second single of the ball game, scoring two batters later as Domenico singled to center. Domenico advanced to second on the play as the Sooner centerfielder misplayed the ball.
With two outs, Brandy answered again with his second run batted in on the evening as he singled through the left side, plating Domenico.
The Sooners answered in the sixth and seventh innings with a pair of runs in each. Hector Lorenzana shot one back up the middle with one out, taking second following a walk to Anthony Hermelyn. After a pop out, both runners scored on a Hunter Haley triple to left center to cut the lead to a pair.
In the next Oklahoma half inning, Craig Aikin got the Sooners started with a bunt single, advancing to second on a single off the bat of Max White. Matt Oberste, one of the hottest hitters in the country, added his third hit of the game with a single to load the bases.
The first run of the OU seventh came on a wild pitch that allowed Aikin to score with Lorenzana at the plate. Lorenzana eventually walked to load the bases. After a strikeout, White scored on a misplayed ball by the ORU infield.
The Golden Eagle defense stepped up huge in the eighth and ninth innings. With one out in the eighth, an Oklahoma batter laid down a great bunt, but Williams picked up the ball and flipped it to first as he was falling into the first base coaches box.
In the ninth, Oklahoma had a runner reach third base after he was hit by a pitch and swiping second and third. However, he was gunned down at home by Brandy on a groundball to second to keep the Sooners from scoring.
The contest came to an end in the 15th inning. Oberste singled with a hard shot to the left single to lead the inning off. He moved to second on a sac bunt from Carpenter, taking third on a groundout.
Mac James came to the plate with two outs, hit a liner to center. Colt made a great effort to make a play on the ball, but it landed just in front of his outstretched arm for the game winning hit.
It was the longest game the Golden Eagle baseball program has played in since it went 16 innings with Centenary in 2008.
Domenico finished with a team high three hits. He drove in two runs and scored twice in the contest.
Goro added two hits with a RBI and scored twice, while Williams and Colt each had a pair of hits and scored.
Taylor Tryon picks up his first decision of his career, taking the loss at two and two-thirds innings. He struck out one batter. Alec Smith entered the game in the 10th inning and struck out four batters, who of which ended innings with runners on base.
The Golden Eagles (5-14) and the Sooners (18-5) square off again tomorrow evening in Norman. Game time is set for 6:35.