ORU splits in College World Series, eliminated by TCU
OMAHA, Neb. — The Oral Roberts Golden Eagles were fighting Tuesday to keep their golden slippers on as the Cinderella team in the 2023 College World Series at Charles Schwab Field.
ORU split its first two games in the CWS, winning in dramatic fashion 6-5 over Texas Christian University on Friday afternoon, then seeing a late rally fall short Sunday night with a 5-4 loss to No. 2 Florida.
The Golden Eagles (52-14) were eliminated Tuesday afternoon against TCU, 6-1. The Horned Frogs will have to defeat the Gators twice to reach the CWS Championship Series.
In Friday afternoon’s win, Blaze Brothers hit a go-ahead three-run homer in the ninth inning for the come-from-behind win over TCU.
The victory marked the Golden Eagles’ second in program history at the College World Series and their 24th in the last 25 games. ORU also set a new program record (D1-era) for wins in a season with 52.
Trailing 5-2 heading into the ninth inning, Mac McCroskey got things going with an infield lead-off single. The redshirt senior later came around to score on an RBI single from Drew Stahl, trimming the deficit to 5-3. With two on and one out, Brothers belted a three-run shot over the left-field bullpen to put the Golden Eagles back in front for good at 6-5. The long ball marked the 12th of the season for the senior.
In the bottom half of the frame, TCU threatened as the Horned Frogs put two on with only an out, but closer Cade Denton responded with a strikeout and a flyout to seal the victory for ORU.
Denton earned the win to improve to 3-1 on the season after tossing 1.2 innings of onerun baseball and striking out two. Starter Jakob Hall dealt five strong innings, allowing only two runs and striking out three.
Justin Quinn led all players with a 4-for-5 performance at the dish to extend his hitting streak to 17 games. McCroskey joined Quinn with a multi-hit performance after going 2-for-4 with a two-run homer.
After three scoreless frames, the Horned Frogs jumped in front first with a solo homer to rightcenter. The Golden Eagles responded in the sixth inning as McCroskey lifted a two-run oppositefield homer to right, putting ORU in front 2-1. McCroskey’s long ball was his 14th of the season and first since May 2.
TCU answered in the bottom half of the frame with an RBI single to even the score at 2-all.
In the eighth, the Horned Frogs loaded the bases with only an out and pushed across three runs to take a 5-2 lead, setting up ORU’s dramatic comeback.
In Sunday night’s loss, the Golden Eagles left 13 runners on base and went 2-for-11 with runners in scoring position on the night.
Despite striking out six, Harley Gollert suffered the loss after allowing five runs over three innings. In relief, Dalton Patten, Jacob Widener and Evan Kowalski combined for six scoreless frames and eight strikeouts.
After Florida struck first with a two-run homer in the second inning, the Golden Eagles responded with an RBI single from Quinn in the bottom half of the frame to cut the deficit to 2-1.
The Gators extended their lead to 5-1 in the fourth inning behind a solo shot and a tworun homer.
Following a one-out walk from Quinn in the seventh, Matt Hogan brought new life to ORU as the senior belted a ball off the left-center field wall that skipped away from the outfielders leading to an insidethe- park home run. The insidethe- park homer was the first in the College World Series since Tennessee’s Chris Burke in 2001 at the CWS’ former home — Rosenblatt Stadium — and the first-ever at Charles Schwab Field.
Trailing 5-3 in the eighth inning, the Golden Eagles loaded the bases with two outs, bringing Quinn to the plate. A mound visit by the Gators, which was their seventh of the game, forced an unplanned change on the mound. Quinn worked a full count but ultimately lined out to left field as Florida escaped the jam.
In the ninth inning, the Golden Eagles put the winning run on first with only an out following a Holden Breeze walk that loaded the bases. After a Stahl RBI fielder’s choice cut the deficit to 5-4, Jacob Godman drove the ball hard to left-center but it hung in the air long enough as Florida made the catch and held on for the win.