Top-seeded Omaha edges Oral Roberts, advances to title game

Omaha's Joey Machado picked up his sixth win of the season to lead the Mavericks to the 2019 #SummitBSB Championship title game.
Omaha's Joey Machado picked up his sixth win of the season to lead the Mavericks to the 2019 #SummitBSB Championship title game.

TULSA, Okla. – After giving up two runs in the first inning, Omaha starter Joey Machado settled in after that and the top-seeded Mavericks clawed back for a 3-2 victory over third-seeded Oral Roberts Friday to advance to the title game of the 2019 Summit League Baseball Championship. The Mavericks' right-hander allowed just two hits after the first en route a seven-inning victory that improved his record to 6-2.

The Golden Eagles opened up the scoring in the bottom of the first as four of their first six batters all singled off Machado. Riley Keizor and Isaac Coffey each produced run-scoring singles in the frame and those were sandwiched between another potential run that was cut down at the plate on a strong throw from center fielder by Thomas Debonville.

Three innings later, Debonville would use his bat to drive in the first run of the game for the Mavericks as his triple into the right-field corner scored Ben Palensky to cut the deficit in half.

The Golden Eagles threatened in the sixth, but Machado pitched out of a one-out, bases-loaded jam and the Mavericks promptly took their first lead of the game in the top of the seventh. Trying to move a runner into scoring position, shortstop Keil Krumwiede laid down a bunt that was fielded cleanly by ORU starter Matt Gaskins, but his throw sailed down the right-field line, allowing Breyden Eckhout to race home from first to tie the game at 2-2. Krumwiede would end up at third and score the eventual game-winning run on a sacrifice fly by Parker Smejkal.

Andrew Brighton retired the side in order for Omaha in the eighth, then All-Summit League first team reliever Cal Hehnke closed the door in the ninth. It was not as easy for Hehnke, who gave up a leadoff single to Blake Hall and he got all the way to third before Hunter Wilson grounded out to shortstop to end the game.

Gaskins took the loss despite allowing just one earned run on seven hits in 6.1 innings of work. 

How It Happened






 Riley Keizor and Isaac Coffey each had RBI-singles    



 Thomas Debonville plates a run with an RBI-triple



 Breyden Eckhout scored from first on a throwing error following Keil Krumwiede's   sacrifice bunt attempt. Parker Smejkal drove in the go-ahead run with a sacrifice fly

Pitchers of Record

Win – Joey Machado (6-2): 7.0 IP, 6 hits, 2 earned runs, 3 strikeouts, 4 walks
Save - Cal Hehnke (7): 1.0 IP, 1 hit, 0 earned runs, 0 strikeouts, 0 walks

Loss – Matt Gaskins (5-5): 6.1 IP, 7 hits, 3 runs, 1 earned run, 4 strikeouts, 3 walks


• Omaha's appearance in the title game will be the program's first -- the Mavericks went 0-2 in their only previous appearance in 2016

• Omaha's Machado had pitched just 1.1 innings since an April 26th victory over South Dakota State   

• Oral Roberts' Spencer Henson walked three times and has reached base in eight of nine plate appearances during the tournament 

• The loss was just the fourth for Oral Roberts in 67 Summit League Championship contests (63-4)

• Attendance: 525

Up Next

With the 3-2 victory, top-seeded Omaha will take on the winner of the South Dakota State-Oral Roberts elimination game being played Friday afternoon. First pitch for Saturday's Championship Game is scheduled for 11 a.m. CT.  

Follow The Summit League
SOCIAL: Twitter | Facebook | Instagram