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Oklahoma State Baseball

Oral Roberts Makes Themselves at Home Against Cowboys, Take Regional Opener

June 2, 2023

STILLWATER – Radar looked like everything was going to be good for baseball, but Mother Nature put a pause in place for old-time rivals Oklahoma State and ORU back playing NCAA Regional baseball with each other. The Cowboys the top seed in the Stillwater Regional and the Golden Eagles the best four seed, maybe ever in NCAA baseball. ORU 46-11and winners of 18 straight games. ORU won both vs. Oklahoma State this season and came in winning 17 of the last 22. In NCAA play, ORU had won three straight and was 4-5 vs. the Cowboys. All trends that foreshadowed the happenings at O’Brate Stadium. 

In the top of the ninth Bayden Root came on and allowed a lead off double to ORU designated hitter Drew Stahl, but then settled down to a ground out, strike out, and another ground out in front of the plate that Adkisson handled. 

Bottom of the ninth, 6-4 Oral Roberts leading and time for drama in the first game of the NCAA Regional. Eagle closer Cade Denton back out ofr his second inning of relief to get this prized win. He walked Carson Benge to start it off and the atmosphere kicked up a notch. Adkison struck out on four pitches. Nolan Schubart fought off on two strikes before grounding out to second base. The Cowboys down to the final out in a game they needed badly. 

Denton was in control now as he got Tyler Wulfert down in the count 0-2. A foul dribbler delayed the verdict but then Wulfert took strike three and Oral Roberts won 6-4 and was now approaching control of Oklahoma State’s regional.

“This place is a good atmospher for playoff baseball,” Denton said of save number 13 on his season. “It was rocking. This place gets rowdy. You have to just block it out and focus on one pitch. The next pitch. After the home run (Meola’s) it was rocking and bubbles were going everywhere and for me it was calm down and go to the next hitter.”

 ORU scored a third win over the Cowboys this season and a fourth straight over OSU in postseason play.

“That was a pretty good atmosphere and I think that was a pretty good, well played college baseball game all the way around,” ORU head coach and former Oklahoma State player and assistant coach Ryan Folmar said. It certainly was from his vantage point. 

ORU has a veteran and talented team, and like I wrote above, they are not a number four seed.

“It feels different and I think every team does,” added Folmar. “We knew going in this was an older group, a more mature group and that they could handle situations like this. My job becomes very easy, just let them go play.” 

Oklahoma State (41-19) will have to get geared up to face another difficult opponent in Dallas Baptist. The Patriots (45-15) lost their opener to third-seed Washington 9-5 and now the number one and two seeds will face each other in an elimination game at 2 p.m. at O’Brate Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

“You just worry about tomorrow’s game,” OSU head coach Josh Holliday said when asked how tough this makes it to advance. “You just worry about the next game and then you move on and line up for the one after that. You don’t over analyze it. You show up.”

ORU moves to the winner’s bracket game at 8 p.m. with the Huskies. 

After two scoreless innings at the start, Oral Roberts struck first. With one out the nine hoel hitter Blaze Brothers singled into centerfield and the line-up for the Golden Eagles turned over with Jake McMurray getting a four-pitch walk off McLean. Justin Quinn singled to center and that scored Brothers for the first run of the game. The Eagles top hitter Jonah Cox blooped a single into short center to load the bases. That bloop  extended his nationa leading hit streak to 42 gamesThe next play was a glove gem as Matt Hogan dribbled the ball between the mound and third base line with McLean coming over and bare handing a throw home to Chase Adkison for the force. 

Bases still loaded and Mac McCroskey worked a walk for the second ORU run of the inning before McLean struck out Holden Breeze with three fastballs to end it. ORU up 3-0. 

ORU Baseball Twitter
Justin Quinn with a two-hit night for the Eagles.

The Golden Eagles cranked it up again in the top of the fifth as Justin Quinn hit a fading line drive off McLean into the left field corner for a stand up double. Cow worked a walk, Hogan, while trying to bunt was hit by a pitch to load the bases. That was when pitching coach Rob Walton ended the night for McLean. He showed heart working beyond the weather delay. 

Unfortunately, Isaac Stebens came in and allowed a single to Mac McCroskey for one run in. After a strike out, Breeze worked a full count into a walk to score another run. Catcher Jacob Godman singled just over the head of shortstop Marcus Brown and all three runners that McLean allowed came home. The inning ended on a fly out but Oral Roberts was up 5-0 in the middle of the fifth. 

Oklahoma State answered. After Chase Adkison struck out looking on a very questionable call, Nolan Schubart got the Cowboys fans to wake up with a solid single to right field. Wulfert followed that with a walk off of Caleb Issacs, and then after Colin Brueggemann struk out swinging, David Mendham singled to right field to bring home Schubart and Wulfert. 

ORU Baseball Twitter
Eagles fans had lots to cheer about.

However, Oklahoma State gave one of those runs back in the top of the sixth as ORU had two singles in between three strike outs, but with Jonah Cox stealing second that allowed him to score on McCroskey’s single up the middle to make it 6-2.

“You still have to rally and you are still in the game,” Holliday said. “You couldn’t let their answer there knock you out. You have to keep going. You don’t let the sway of that take away your chances.”

The Cowboys got a jolt in the bottom of the eighth inning when Aidan Meola pinch hit for Brueggemann and did a repeat of his heroics at Arlington against Texas Tech in the Big 12 Tournament with a monster blast against the wind that landed on the concourse to cut the ORU lead to 6-3.

“There is no doubt he (Meola) got us going,” said Holliday. “He pumped some life into what was a stagnant offensive run for us through those innings. It was an absolute missile.”

The Eagles brought in closer Cade Denton with the 1.59 ERA and team leading 12 saves. Denton struck out Mendham and Brown, but Zach Ehrhard hit the second home run of the inning to make it 6-4. Denton recovered and struck out Roc Riggio looking to set the stage for the ninth inning, 

Discussion from...

Oral Roberts Makes Themselves at Home Against Cowboys, Take Regional Opener

3,200 Views | 6 Replies | Last: 1 yr ago by explodiocornholio
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This doesn't surprise me at all and I predicted ORU to win it. This was NO upset, because they have a better team and program than OSU, period. This will be back to back years OSU can't win a regional in its own shiny new park. This is a flat-out OVERHYPED baseball program. They need to take a hard look at Holliday, Walton, and the whole crew. When are we going to admit they're just not getting it done?
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How in the HE11 does a team with 46 wins and a #9 ranking in Collegiate Baseball come in as a NUMBER 4 SEED?? Correct me if I'm wrong, but the number 4 seed is higher ranked than the number 1 seed. How in the he11 does this happen????!!! Baseball America must completely overhaul it's national ranking system!
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How about starting Meola at DH today.
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ORU is ranked #76 in the "scratch your head" RPI rankings that are used to justify 3 or 4 unworthy

SEC Regional Hosts.
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JPat said:

They need to take a hard look at Holliday, Walton, and the whole crew. When are we going to admit they're just not getting it done?

he's performed better than our last two coaches (Anderson, Holliday), and is fairly close on the heels of Ward and Greene, especially considering how the game has changed with super regionals, transfer rules, etc.

We have been in the post season every single season since he was hired (omitting the cancelled COVID year)

perhaps you could explain what you consider "getting it done" means to you... I believe that most of "we" think he is doing great and is keeping us on the cusp and in the realm of greatness.

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It's one of the most ridiculous things I've seen in all of college sports (as opposed to the ever-tightening pants of girl's softball which is a very good most cases, anyway). I'm a Hail State and then ORU fan, but I would be eternally pi$$ed about this Stillwater Regional lineup if I were the Pokes!
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