The bats were alive and well for the Golden Eagles as they defeated the Mastodons 15-1 in Game 1 of the Saturday afternoon twin bill.
The Golden Eagles came out of the gate swinging as they put up six straight hits to start the game. Matt Whatley and Noah Cummings started the first inning onslaught with back-to-back doubles down the left field line to give ORU a quick 3-0 lead. First baseman Brent Williams followed by sending a towering drive over the wall in left center field giving ORU a five-run lead.
Williams added a solo home run in the fifth inning, his 12th of the season, giving him the team lead in home runs. He finished the game 4 for 4 on the afternoon raising his season batting average from .231 to .259.
“The biggest thing is that I just stopped chasing hits and tried to keep hitting the ball hard, having a plan and executing it,” said Williams. “I’d be lying if I said I didn’t get frustrated at times, but you really just gotta keep sticking with it.”
ORU’s hit barrage didn’t stop after the first inning. The Golden Eagles put nine runs up over the next five innings. Every ORU starter also scored a run in Game 1.
Justin McGregor got plenty of run support and was better than he was in his last outing against Fort Wayne, cruising through six innings. McGregor left the Mastodons hitless until the fifth inning when he allowed a solo shot to Fort Wayne second baseman Brandon Yoho.
McGregor finished the game going six innings allowing just one run on two hits. He walked two Mastodons and struck out six.
“I thought Brent was really good today and when we have What[ley] going, it makes are lineup really good. When Nick [Rotola] went down, we had to shuffle the lineup a bit so it’s almost like you’re starting over again,” said ORU Head Coach Ryan Folmar. “Guys are starting to settle in.”
It’s was more of the same for ORU in Game 2. The offense carried over from Game 1 as the Golden Eagles routed Fort Wayne 10-0.
Unlike Game 1 when they scored six runs to start the game, they waited until the second inning to do damage putting up six runs again. The Golden Eagles sent 10 men to the plate with the help of eight hits including back-to-back RBI doubles from Cal Hernandez and Whatley.
“Proud of our guys and the way they came out and played. Anytime you sweep a doubleheader and get two run-rule wins, you’ll take those, but the series isn’t over, we have to come out tomorrow and play well,” said Folmar.
While starter Josh McMinn allowed more hits than teammate Justin McGregor did earlier in the afternoon, he was just as effective. The sophomore earned his seventh win of the season, finishing the game going five shutout innings. He allowed just four hits, striking out two and walking two.
Second baseman Nick Roark finished the game going 3 for 4 and has now led-off the game with the a single in six consecutive games. Williams finished the game going 2 for 5 and tallied six hits during Saturday’s doubleheader. After starting the season slow, the Colorado Springs, Colorado native is hitting .350 (14-40) in his last 10 games.
“I keep telling myself, ‘Everyday you’re 0 for 0,’ and act like every at-bat is a fresh start to the season and it’s rally kept me level headed,” said Williams. “That’s made it a lot easier to get through some of those line outs and balls that aren’t falling.”
The next game for the Golden Eagles will be tomorrow afternoon when ORU takes on Fort Wayne in the series finale. Junior Miguel Ausua (7-2, 2.48 ERA) takes the mound for ORU in Game 3. Game 3, which was scheduled for Saturday afternoon, has been postponed and moved to Sunday at 1 P.M.