The Oral Roberts University baseball team returns to postseason play for the first time since 2012 after shutting out IPFW 6-0 at Sioux Falls Stadium in the finale of The Summit League Tournament Saturday afternoon.
True freshman Bryce Howe tossed a gem on the mound for the Golden Eagles, going a career-high seven and a third innings to pick up the win. The Claremore, Okla. Native struck out seven batters and allowed only four hits on the day. Howe set down IPFW in order from the fourth inning all the way to when he exited the game with one out in the eighth.
Anthony Sequeira came in to relive Howe in the eighth to pick up the save and retired all four batters he faced.
The offense got going in the fourth when senior Audie Afenir went for his third home run of the year to put ORU on top in what turned out to be the winning run of the game.
The Golden Eagles continued to build on that success in the fifth when the offense struck for two more runs, aided by an error. Matt Brandy and tournament MVP Derrian James came up with clutch at bats to add to the lead.
In the ninth inning, Oral Roberts broke the game open, scoring three runs, Brandy connected on a 0-1 pitch for his sixth homer of the year that also scored leadoff man Matt Whatley. Sequeira would also score in the ninth on a throwing error to make it 6-0 in favor of ORU.
- Howe went a career-best 7.1 innings, allowing only four hits and striking out seven on his way to his fourth win of the year.
- James finished 3-for-4 with an RBI on his way to tournament MVP honors.
- Afenir drew two walks on the day to go along with the go-ahead run of the day with a homer in the fourth.
- Brandy went for his sixth home run of the year to go along with three RBI during a 2-for-4 day.
Inside the Box Score
- ORU moves to 52-2 all-time in The Summit League Tournament.
- The Golden Eagles return to the postseason for the 25th time in program history and the first time since 2012.
- Oral Roberts has won 31 of their last 35 games dating back to March 20.
- ORU has now recorded seven shutouts this season.
- Brandy increased his reached base streak to 16 games with an RBI single in the fifth.
- Derrian James finished 3-for-4 on the day with an RBI and 7-of-12 in the Golden Eagles' three games in The Summit League tournament.
- Afenir hit a line drive homerun over the left field wall to give ORU the 1-0 lead in the fourth.
- James doubled to left field in the fifth inning, allowing Chase Stafford to score easily from third to cushion the Golden Eagles lead at 2-0. Stafford reached on a bunt single and went to second on a throwing error. Whatley moved him to third on a sacrifice bunt.
- After James moved to third on a wild pitch, Brandy pushed the ORU lead to 3-0 after a single to right center to cap off the scoring for the Golden Eagles in the fifth.
- Brandy hit the second home run of the game for the Golden Eagles in the ninth, scoring Whatley who walked earlier in the inning, extending the lead to 5-0.
- A throwing error that would have ended the ninth, allowed Sequeira to round third and score to push the lead to 6-0.
Matt Brandy, ORU
Adam Bray, SDSU
Reid Clary, SDSU
Noah Cummings, ORU
Bryce Howe, ORU
Derrian James, ORU (MVP)
Greg Kaiser, IPFW
Ben Petersen, NDSU
Al Robbins, SDSU
Anthony Sequeira, ORU
Guillermo Trujillo, ORU
Jonathan Valenzuela-Reece, IPFW
Evan VanSumeren, IPFW
Ryan Wells, IPFW
The NCAA Selection Show will air live Monday, May 25 at 11 a.m. on ESPNU. During that time, ORU will find out which regional site they will head to.