ORU Wins Two, Captures 15th-Straight League Title

ORU Wins Two, Captures 15th-Straight League Title
2012 Summit League Baseball Championship Day Three, Game Two - (1) Oral Roberts vs. (3) North Dakota State. Photo by Bill Powell

Box Score | Photo Gallery

(1) Oral Roberts 4, (3) North Dakota State 1
TULSA, Okla. - With the game tied 1-1, Oral Roberts' Jose Trevino belted a three-run home run over the left field wall for a 4-1 win over North Dakota State, forcing a second championship game at J.L. Johnson Stadium Saturday.

Only two combined runs were scored through the first eight innings before the Trevino homer. Bennett Pickar led off the ORU ninth with a walk and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Nate Goro. After a ground out by Logan Domenico, Kevin Cho was issued a two-out walk to put runners on first and second.

The Golden Eagles got on the scoreboard first in the second inning as Brandon King led off the inning with a single to center field. After stealing second base, King took third on a sacrifice bunt by Brandon Healy. He then scored on a double by Pickar.

ORU kept its 1-0 lead into the eighth when NDSU tied it up as Zach Wentz singled-in Tim Colwell, who walked earlier in the frame.

Trevino led the Golden Eagles going 3-for-5 at the plate with his 13th homer of the season and three RBI. Colwell led the Bison with two hits and a run scored.

The win was credited to Alec Smith (2-1) in relief for ORU while Lars Liguori earned his first save of the season. ORU starter Mike Torrence went 7.2 innings surrendering just four hits and one run while striking out four batters for the no decision. NDSU's Kyle Kingsley (7-4) suffered the loss in relief for the Bison.

The second championship game is set to begin at 4:30 p.m. with the winner receiving The Summit League's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.

Box Score | Photo Gallery

(1) Oral Roberts 4, (3) North Dakota State 3
TULSA, Okla. - A four-run fifth inning was the difference maker as Oral Roberts claimed its record 15th-straight Summit League Championship presented by Currington Mortgage Saturday, at J.L. Johnson Stadium in Tulsa, Okla.

Trailing 2-0 heading into the fifth inning, ORU's Nate Goro singled up the middle to start the inning. Following a walk by Logan Domenico and a sacrifice by Brandon Healy, Cam Schiller smacked a single to right field scoring Goro and Domenico. Jose Trevino then reached base before Jared Schlehuber hit his 13th home run of the season, a two-run shot, to left center.

The Bison would cut the ORU lead to 4-3 in the seventh inning as Tim Colwell scored on a wild pitch. NDSU jumped on ORU starter Tim ZuFall with two runs on three hits and two errors in the first inning to take the early 2-0 lead.

Schlehuber led the Golden Eagles going 3-for-3 at the plate with two RBI and a run scored. The Bison were led offensively by Wes Satzinger with three hits and a run scored.

Joe Spring (6-2) notched the win for Oral Roberts tossing six innings of relief with three strikeouts and no earned runs. Drew Bowen picked up his first save of the year going 2.1 innings with just one hit and two punch outs.

Bowen earned MVP honors after pitching 10.1 innings with eight strikeouts over five games in the tournament. He earned a win and a save yielding no earned runs and no walks.

The Golden Eagles advance to their 24th NCAA Regional in school history. ORU will find out its opponent and regional location when the NCAA Division I Baseball Tournament bracket is revealed Monday, at 11 a.m. (CDT) on ESPN.

All-Tournament Team
Simon Anderson, North Dakota State
Drew Bowen, Oral Roberts (MVP)
Tim Colwell, North Dakota State
Jason Hager, Oakland
Nolan Jacoby, Oakland
Brandon King, Oral Roberts
Kyle Kingsley, North Dakota State
Kyle Kleinendorst, North Dakota State
Brad Royer, Southern Utah
Tim Ryan, Oakland
Jared Schlehuber, Oral Roberts
Joe Spring, Oral Roberts
Mike Torrence, Oral Roberts
Jose Trevino, Oral Roberts

Tournament Schedule
Thursday, May 24
3:30 p.m. - Game One: (3) North Dakota State 3, (2) Oakland 2 (11 innings)
7 p.m. - Game Two: (1) Oral Roberts 2, (4) Southern Utah 1

Friday, May 25 Noon - Game Three: (2) Oakland 4, (4) Southern Utah 2 [SUU eliminated]
3:30 p.m. - Game Four: (3) North Dakota State 4, (1) Oral Roberts 3 (10 innings)
7 p.m. - Game Five: (1) Oral Roberts 3, (2) Oakland 2 [OU eliminated]

Saturday, May 26
1 p.m. - Game Six: (1) Oral Roberts 4, (3) North Dakota State 1
4:30 p.m. - Game Seven: (1) Oral Roberts 4, (3) North Dakota State 3

Tournament Notes

--Oral Roberts won its record 15th-straight Summit League Championship title.

--Of the seven games contested in the league tournament, five have been decided by one run, one was a two-run game and one was decided by three runs. Two of the seven games went to extra innings.

--The 2012 Summit League Baseball Championship was the closest-contested tournament in league history as there was a combined 10-run difference in all seven games.

--This is just the fifth time in league history a second game was needed to decide the championship and first since 1997.

--This was North Dakota State's first-ever trip to The Summit League Championship title game.

--The Bison became just the third No. 3 seed to reach the title game (Southern Utah, 2000; South Dakota State, 2009).