ORU Rally Ends Gents Upset Bid in Extra Innings
Thursday, May 25, 2006

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Box Score

Justin Darr

Jimmy Baker

Tim Ryan

Brandon Fulenchek

Kris Calhoun

TULSA, Okla.- In the opening round of the 2006 Mid-Continent Conference baseball championships, fourth-seeded Centenary and top-seed Oral Roberts played an extra-inning thriller with the Golden Eagles pulling out a 5-4 victory.  ORU scored on a wild pitch with a runner on second to claim the victory in the tenth inning.


The Gents (23-29) jumped on the board first, plating a pair of runs in the fourth inning.  With one out, Justin Darr doubled down the leftfield line, careening a shot off the third base bag to safely reach second.  Jimmy Baker then advanced Darr to third with a single through the left side, allowing Darr to score two batters later on a passed ball.  Catcher Alex Maldonado would make it a moot point, adding another single in the inning to bring home Baker and take a 2-0 lead.


Centenary added another two runs in the fifth with Nate Santiago leading off with a walk followed by a Tim Ryan single.  After ORU starter Nick Jones fanned the next two Gents, Darr and Baker came through in the clutch with back-to-back hits to drive in Santiago and Ryan.


Oral Roberts (36-14) finally got to Gents starter Brandon Fulenchek in the sixth as Golden Eagles third baseman Carter McQuigg hit a solo homerun over the leftfield fence to pull within 4-1.  Fulenchek held ORU scoreless for 5 2/3 innings prior to the homer, allowing just four hits.


Not willing to concede anything, the Golden Eagles answered with two runs in the seventh to make it a 4-3 ballgame.  ORU connected with three consecutive hits, followed by an error by Baker with runners on the corner to plate two.  Calming down, relief pitcher Kris Calhoun (4-5) struck out ORU’s top hitters back-to-back before forcing a meek grounder back to the mound to end the threat.


The Golden Eagles then tied the game in the eighth on an unusual play.  With a runner on third, one down and the infield drawn in, pinch-hitter Travis DeBondt hit a hard grounder to second baseman Robbie Knowles who cleanly played the ball and threw him out at first.  While the runner was originally held at third, DeBondt collided with Darr at first allowing the ORU runner to score in the confusion afterwards.


Oral Roberts would eventually score in the tenth on a wild pitch by Calhoun.  With runners on first and second, Maldonado couldn’t locate the pitch that careened by the ORU dugout to score Brian Aguilar from second.


The Gents next take on Oakland tomorrow in the first consolation game at 12 p.m.  Follow the action live at www.ORUGoldenEagles.com.