Gents Swept in Saturday Doubleheader at Oral Roberts
Saturday, May 12, 2007

Files associated with this release:
Box Score - Game 1
Box Score - Game 2

TULSA, Okla. -- Oral Roberts (32-15, 14-1) scored a combined 22 runs Saturday to earn a sweep of the doubleheader with the Centenary baseball team (23-27, 6-9) at Johnson Stadium. The Golden Eagles won Game 1 Saturday by a score of 9-3, defeating the Gents in Game 2 by a decisive 13-2 margin.

The story of the day was the hitting of the Golden Eagles.

En route to the 22 combined runs over the two games, Oral Roberts racked up 31 hits, pelting the Centenary pitching staff pitch-after-pitch, inning-after-inning.

Three Oral Roberts players had four hits in Saturday’s doubleheader, led by the duo of juniors Brian Van Kirk and Kelly Minissale. Van Kirk and Minissale each hit .571 in Saturday’s two games, combining for four RBI and six runs scored. Minissale had one of ORU’s three home runs on the day.

Outhit by a margin of 31-12, Centenary showed a lack of confidence at the plate Saturday, striking out 22 times.

Falling in the first three games of the series at Johnson Stadium and allowing 34 runs to ORU, Centenary looks to earn a win in Sunday’s series finale. With junior left-hander Johnny Noland (Aliso Viejo, Calif.) taking the mound for the Gents, Centenary looks to stay competitive in the Mid-Continent Conference standings. Now with a 6-9 record in conference, Centenary is fighting for one of the final two spots in the Mid-Con Championships, played May 24-26 at Western Illinois.

Game 1 - Oral Roberts 9, Centenary 3

Centenary allowed a season-high 19 hits in the 9-3 loss in Game 1 of the doubleheader at Johnson Stadium.

Leading the hit brigade in Game 1 for the Golden Eagles was Van Kirk, who went 3-for-5 at the plate with two RBI and two runs scored.

For the series, Van Kirk has stepped to the forefront as the offensive leader for ORU. Over the three games, the junior outfielder has a .636 average and a .636 on-base percentage, registering four RBI.

Van Kirk started off the hitting for ORU in three-run fourth.

Already leading 1-0 after a Carter McQuigg solo homer in the third, Van Kirk singled to center in the fourth, later scoring on a Pat Warle triple to right. The scoring in the third was capped off by a David Genao double to center, scoring McQuigg from first.

After the Golden Eagles scored two more runs in the fifth, taking a 6-0 lead, Centenary could just not stage a comeback due to the lack of hitting. For the game, Centenary was outhit, 19-8.

Centenary seniors Justin Huff (Beaumont, Texas) and Nate Santiago (Mukilteo, Wash.) both had two hits for the Gents in the loss.

Centenary senior Brandon Fulenchek (McKinney, Texas) lasted four innings in Game 1, allowing nine hits and six runs. In suffering the loss to the Golden Eagles, Fulenchek’s (8-3) streak of six consecutive starts without a loss was broken. He left the game with the Gents trailing 4-0.

ORU freshman starting pitcher Jerry Sullivan (4-0) went six innings for this fourth win of the season, allowing six hits and striking out six.

Game 2 - Oral Roberts 13, Centenary 2

ORU junior Jeremy Hefner flirted with a no-hitter in the 13-2 win over Centenary in Game 2.

Through the first five innings of Game 2, Hefner did not allow a hit, striking out 10 Centenary batters and helping the Golden Eagles build a 13-0 lead on the Gents.

The no-hit bid by Hefner was broken up in the sixth when Centenary freshman Gordon Murphy (Fort Wayne, Ind.) hit a double to right-center.

For the game, Hefner struck out 11 over six innings, allowing just one hit to earn his eighth win of the season.

The Golden Eagles got to Centenary starter Jeremy Sheehan (Bonner Springs, Kan.) early and often, registering nine runs and eight hits over the first two innings to take a 9-0 lead Saturday.

In the bottom of the first, ORU senior infielder Chad Rothford drove a two-run single to right, scoring Minissale and Jake Kahaulelio.

With Rothford on first, ORU senior Stephen Pearson hit a two-run shot to right, extending the Golden Eagles’ lead to four runs after the bottom of the first.

The following inning, the ORU hit parade continued, with Centenary searching for answers.

The first four Oral Roberts batters reached in the second, all scoring and extending the lead to 8-0.

The early magic at the plate for the Golden Eagles in the second culminated with a two-run homer by Minissale to right.

With Hefner on the mound and the Gents unable to get anything started offensively, Oral Roberts continued to pound the Gent pitching, leading to the 13 runs.

Centenary junior Tim Kelleher (Chicago) made his debut on the mound for the Gents in relief of Sheehan in the second. Kelleher pitched 2 1/3 innings, allowing three hits and three runs. Junior Jason Blilie (Roanoke, Texas) and freshman Garrett DeRooy (Duvall, Wash.) also pitched for Centenary.

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