TULSA, Okla. (SDSU) – Oral Roberts right-hander Isaac Coffey pitched a five-hit complete-game shutout, ending South Dakota State’s season with a 4-0 setback Friday afternoon at the Summit League Baseball Championship at J.L. Johnson Stadium.
The Jackrabbits had their season come to a close with a 28-22 overall record. Oral Roberts improved to 28-25 and will face top-seeded Omaha in Saturday’s championship. Omaha defeated ORU, 3-2, in Friday’s first game of the day.
ORU scored single runs in each of the second and third innings, getting on the board on a Blake Hall run-scoring single that scored Andrew Pace. The Golden Eagles’ run in the third inning was plated on a double to the right-center gap by Riley Keizor that scored Hunter Wilson.
SDSU starter Ryan Froom settled in from there, putting up zeroes in each of the next five innings. The senior right-hander matched a career high by pitching eight innings and recorded groundouts on 16 of the 24 outs he recorded. Froom struck out three and walked two.
Coffey began a string of retiring 13 Jackrabbit hitters in a row by inducing a ground-ball double play with runners at the corners and one out in the bottom of the first inning. The freshman struck out a career-high nine and did not walk a batter.
The Jackrabbits threatened again in the sixth inning as they collected three of their five hits in the game. Luke Ira led off with a single and, after a strikeout and fielder’s choice, Nick Smith followed later in the inning with single to right field. Gus Steiger then stepped to the plate and lined a single to right, but ORU outfielder Trevor McCutchin, who was a defensive replacement to start the inning, fired a strike home to get Drew Beazley at the plate to end the rally and the inning.
SDSU had its comeback hopes further dashed in the top of the ninth by committing three errors, which led to two ORU runs. Hunter Swift opened the inning by reaching on an error and moved to second on a bunt single by Hall. Both runners moved up a base on an errant pickoff attempt at second base and Swift later scored when a throw to first base on a chopper off the bat of Anthony Martinez was dropped. The final run of the game scored on a sacrifice fly by Jake McMurray.
Steiger tallied two of SDSU’s five hits, while Keizor and Hall each collected two of ORU’s eight hits.
The Jackrabbits dropped to 17-19 in Summit League tournament games over their 10 appearances
SDSU was shut out for the first time in a Summit League tournament game
Froom finished second on the SDSU career charts with 49 games started, fourth with 270 2/3 innings pitched and sixth with 176 strikeouts
Froom passed Jon Maras (175 strikeouts from 1989-92) on the career strikeouts chart in Friday’s game and broke a tie with Stephen Bougher (48 starts from 2010-13) for career starts
Smith ended his career with 196 hits
Bret Barnett made his 20th appearance of the season and ended the year with 47 strikeouts in 34 1/3 innings for an average of 12.32 strikeouts per nine innings pitched, a ratio that ranks third in a season at SDSU
Barnett lowered his season earned run average to 1.31, which ranks as the third-lowest mark in program history (minimum 30 innings pitched)
Steiger recorded his team-leading 23rd multi-hit game of the season