The Golden Eagles won their seventh game in a row and swept their second consecutive conference opponent after defeating South Dakota State 6-2 on Sunday afternoon.
The Jackrabbits jumped ahead in the second inning as first baseman Matt Johnson sent Miguel Ausua’s 0-2 breaking ball off the back of the bullpen in right field to give South Dakota State a quick 1-0 lead.
“The home run ball was supposed to be a slider on the outside corner. It was the first slider I had thrown today,” said Ausua. “It was a mistake pitch, but I got a better feel for the slider and the change up as the game went on. I didn’t have my best stuff on my fastball, but I was able to get out of some jams.”
Ausua settled down after the Johnson home run. He got into a few jams, but wasn’t fazed getting himself out of trouble on multiple occasions. It was the fourth win of the season fourth win of the season for the Peñuelas, Puerto Rico native. Ausua went six strong innings allowing just one run, walking one hitter and striking out four Jackrabbits.
South Dakota State also got a solid effort out of spot starter sophomore Bryce Hanson after scheduled starter Tyler Olmstead was injured in his pre-game warmups. He baffled ORU hitters for three innings not allowing a hit.
Noah Cummings got ORU off the schneid in the fourth inning as he lined a double down the left field line scoring Nick Roark, who walked to lead-off the inning tying the game at 1. It was the only ORU hit until the sixth inning, when the offense exploded for ORU.
“I thought it was a good weekend, anytime you win three games against your league, I think that’s good, but I think feel we’ve got a lot of room to improve,” said Head Coach Ryan Folmar. “We got a lot of things we need to clean up heading into this week.”
ORU took control of the game after an error by South Dakota State shortstop Skylar Wenninger scored Dylan Snypes to give the Golden Eagles a 2-1 lead. Brent Williams and Michael Hungate followed with an RBI-double and RBI-single, respectively extending the lead to 4-1.
Designated hitter Trevor McCutchin capped off the inning with a two-run shot clearing the bullpen in right field giving ORU a 6-1 lead. It was his fifth home run of the season. McCutchin has thrived in the two-way role for ORU this season hitting .270 with five homers and has a 1.96 ERA on the mound.
“Got down 0-2, so I was looking for something off-speed and he left a change-up over the plate,” said McCutchin of his blast. “I’m just trying to stay focused as much as I can and be prepared for anything either [on the mound or at the plate].”
ORU will now hit the road and travel to Springfield, Missouri to take on the Missouri State. The Bears defeated ORU 9-5 back on February 21. Junior Logan Michaels will get the start for ORU against the Bears. Following Tuesday’s game, the Golden Eagles will return to J.L. Johnson to take on Summit League opponent Western Illinois.
“Tuesday’s obviously going to be another tough one. Logan is going to have give us another quality at-bat on the mound and hand it over to the bullpen,” said Folmar. “On the other side, we’re going to have to take advantage of some mistakes. That’s one thing we’ve done well thus far this season and I think it’s going to be crucial to our success going forward.”
-While the NCAA has not updated its stats from this weekend’s series, if everything stayed the same, Matt Whatley’s 20 walks would rank 13th in the nation.
-McCutchin’s five home runs have all come into his last 32 at-bats. He now leads the team with a .571 slugging percentage.
-Golden Eagles move to 6-0 in conference play and 16-7 overall.
-Snypes extended his hit streak to 14 game after going for on Sunday afternoon. Whatley also extended his on-base streak to all 23 games.