FARGO, N.D. (Summit League) – Top-seeded Oral Roberts rolled into the #SummitBSB Championship title game with a 15-2 victory over third-seeded South Dakota State Thursday at Newman Outdoor Field.
About the only left to be decided late in this contest was whether Summit League Player of the Year Jonah Cox would extend his hitting streak. After an 0-for-5 start, the ORU centerfielder sent a ball through the left side of the infield to become just the 12th player in Division I history to hit safely in 40 consecutive games.
Before the historic moment, Cox’s teammates carried the Golden Eagles to a definitive win over the Jackrabbits in a winner’s bracket matchup as they pounded out 17 hits and took advantage of six SDSU errors.
After a scoreless first by both teams, Jake McMurray put ORU on the scoreboard with a two-out RBI single. The Golden Eagles would tack on two more runs in the third when Mac McCroskey drove in Matt Hogan with a triple and Holden Breeze added an RBI groundout.
The Jackrabbits loaded the bases off ORU starter Jakob Hall in the third with one out, but McMurray used his glove to impact the game as he scooped a ball in the dirt to finish off an inning-ending double play to keep SDSU off the scoreboard.
In the fifth, ORU plated two more as the Golden Eagles used three hits and two errors to extend their lead to 5-0. Hogan scored on the first error of the frame and Drew Stahl drove in the second with an infield single.
Hall went five scoreless innings to pick up his eighth win of the season.
The Golden Eagles had only one hit in the seventh, but four more SDSU errors allowed ORU to score four times and push its advantage to 9-0.
Hogan delivered his third and fourth hits of the game in a six-run eighth that would be remembered more for Cox’s two-out single that saw him overcome an unusual slow start at the plate. He was the lone ORU player without a hit at that point in the game that saw the Golden Eagles produce 17 hits.
Hogan finished 4-for-4 with three runs and two RBI, while McCroskey went 3-for-5 with a trio of runs to pace the ORU offense. Breeze and Stahl both added two RBI.
SDSU avoided the shutout by plating a pair of runs in its final at-bat as Matthew Werk and Jordan Sagedahl provided RBI singles for the Jackrabbits.
Pitcher of Record
Win – Jakob Hall (8-3): 5.0 IP, 3 hits, 0 earned runs, 3 walks, 5 strikeouts
Loss – Blake Kunz (1-7): 4.2 IP, 7 hits, 4 runs, 3 earned runs, 3 walks, 3 strikeouts
• ORU extended the nation’s longest winning streak to 17 games with the victory and improved to 45-11 on the season and 71-7 all-time in the Summit League Tournament.
• The Golden Eagles advanced to their 23rd consecutive appearance in the Summit League Tournament title game when they have been a League member (Southland Conference; 2012-14).
• Cox’s single in the eighth inning extended his hitting streak to 40 games to become just the 12th player in Division I history to reach that figure. He has hit safely in 55 of ORU’s 56 games this season.
• ORU’s Matt Hogan equaled his season-high with four hits
Oral Roberts will play the winner of a loser’s bracket tilt between the Jackrabbits and NDSU in the championship game set for Saturday at 1:05 p.m. CT. SDSU and the Bison play Friday at 4:05 p.m. CT.