Nick Roark provided the offense in Oral Roberts baseball's come-from-behind 6-3 victory over Alabama, going 4-for-5 with four RBI Friday night at Sewell-Thomas Stadium.
The Golden Eagles scored four unanswered runs to secure the win in the series opener with timely hitting after falling behind in the fourth. Roark drilled a RBI single into right tying the game in the top of the fifth before providing the eventual game-winning RBI in the seventh.
ORU got a brilliant performance from its bullpen when it was needed most. Grant Glaze threw a career-high 4.1 innings after starter Bryce Howe was forced to leave the game in the second with an injury. Ryan McCollough closed out the Crimson Tide pitching three scoreless innings allowing just one hit for his second save of the year.
Quote of the Game
"I think the difference here tonight offensively was the way we grinded out some at bats in the first couple innings. We didn't score a lot of runs early, but we really grinded out some at bats and elevated their starters pitch count and able to bump him out early. When you get that deep in bullpen you have a chance to run away a bit. We got some big hits and the top was really good. (Nick) Roark had an outstanding night and Dylan Snypes at the bottom; those two guys really made us go all night long." – Head Coach Ryan Folmar
ORU turned the tide of the game in the seventh spinning a 3-3 tie into a 5-3 advantage behind a four-hit inning. Snypes led the frame with a double down the line in right and moved to third on a single from Nick Rotola. Roark ripped a single into center plating one run and forced Alabama to go back to its bullpen. Matt Whatley added a sacrifice fly into center pushing the Golden Eagles' lead to two.
Inside the Box Score
- Roark got his season on track in a big way going 4-for-5 with four RBI singles as the junior from Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, matched his career best with the four hits and four RBI.
- Glaze was called upon early in the game and came through for the Golden Eagles recording his first win of the season from the bullpen. The senior went off-speed to keep the Crimson Tide hitters off balance scattering five hits and three runs in his outing.
- Snypes put together one of his best performances of the young campaign from the bottom of the lineup going 3-for-3 at the plate. He also drew a walk, added a stolen base and caught an Alabama player in a run down.
- Noah Cummings added another multi-hit effort as the junior continues his hitting streak to open the 2017 campaign. In five appearances, he has more than one hit in four games and posted at least one hit in all five contests.
- McCollough made his team-leading fourth appearance from the ORU bullpen tossing three innings. He struck out two, one of which was the final out of the game, and limited Alabama to one hit.
- Starting pitcher Bryce Howe was restricted to just 1.2 innings after taking a line drive off his pitching arm in the bottom of the second. The Claremore, Oklahoma, native allowed one hit and one walk before exiting.
- The Golden Eagles out-hit the Crimson Tide by a 12-7 margin, including an 8-2 advantage over the final five innings of play, for their 12th win over a team from a Power Five conference in the last three seasons.
ORU goes for the series victory in game two Saturday afternoon with first pitch slated for 2 p.m. at Sewell-Thomas Stadium. Live video coverage also will be available on the SEC Network.