Golden Eagles, Thunderbirds To Meet In Tourney Final
Friday, May 28, 2004



Shreveport — After Centenary was eliminated in Friday’s first game, Oral Roberts (8-5) and Southern Utah (6-5) both defeated Western Illinois and will meet in Saturday’s championship round of the 2004 Mid-Con Baseball Tournament.

In the second game of the day, Oral Roberts jumped out to a 5-0 lead with four runs in the first inning and one run in the second. The Golden Eagles took advantage of the wildness of Western Illinois starter James Kalinowski, who walked four batters in just over one inning of work.

The Leathernecks chipped away at the lead, getting as close as 6-5 in the fifth inning. However, Western Illinois left ten runners on base and hit into two double plays to take themselves out of the game.

Southern Utah did the same to Western Illinois in the nightcap that Oral Roberts had previously done, putting three runs on the board in the bottom of the first inning. As in the previous game, the Leathernecks chipped away at the lead, scoring one run in the third inning. Southern Utah struck back in the bottom of the seventh inning with two runs of its own to seemingly put the game away.

Western Illinois put on a rally in the top of the ninth inning, scoring three runs to cut the Thunderbird margin to one at 5-4. With a runner on third base and two outs, Dane Ainsworth watched as a passed ball scored Dan Davy to tie the game. In the bottom of the ninth inning, Mike Martin hit a walk-off home run to right field to give the Thunderbirds the victory.

The championship game between Oral Roberts and Southern Utah will be held Saturday at Shehee Stadium beginning at 1 p.m. If the Thunderbirds win that game, a second game will be played at 4:30 p.m. to determine the tournament champion.