The win streak is over. The Golden Eagles just couldn’t get anything going offensively as Western Illinois defeated ORU 5-2 Saturday afternoon and snapped the Golden Eagles win streak at 9 games.
ORU never really had momentum in the ballgame and missed several opportunities to take advantage of some situations and score runs. The team left eight runners on base, three of those runners were in scoring position.
“We were anemic to say the least today and just didn’t have enough to score. Runners at first and second, three different times and not being able to score,” said Head Coach Ryan Folmar. “We need to be much better offensively.”
Western Illinois drew first blood in the fifth inning as left fielder Cord Church doubled down the left field line to score Deion Thompson from second base to give the Leathernecks a 1-0 lead.
The Golden Eagles wasted no time tying the game. Right fielder Sam Grellner led off the bottom of the fifth inning with a triple off the wall in right center field. Designated hitter followed with a sacrifice fly scoring Grellner from third and tying the game at 1.
Golden Eagles starter Josh McMinn didn’t have his best stuff Saturday afternoon getting behind the Leatherneck hitters, forcing him to throw extra pitches. McMinn got himself into a big jam in the sixth inning allowing three straight singles to load the bases before Grant Glaze came on in relief. Glaze got the Golden Eagles did get out of the inning, but not before giving up an RBI-single and walking in a run to give Western Illinois a 3-1 lead. Both runs were credited to McMinn.
“We were set up in some innings to make a pitch and get out of some innings and we just didn’t. In those moments, we didn’t win those pitches,” said Folmar. “Grant comes in and punches out the first guy, but then has an 0-2 breaking ball back up on him and the guy gets a hit. Those were the moments where we needed to make a pitch.”
The Leathernecks would add three insurance runs in the seventh inning to extend the lead to 5-2.
Western Illinois Preston Church gave the ORU lineup everything they could handle Saturday afternoon limiting the damage and frustrating hitters enough to get guys out. Church earned his second win of the season for Western Illinois and finished the game going seven strong innings allowing just two earned runs. He did walk four hitters, but also struck out five.
“You gotta give their guy some credit. We saw him a couple of years ago and he has good enough stuff,” said Folmar. He made pitches when he needed to and we just couldn’t put anything together.”
The Golden Eagles will look to take the series and win their third series in a row tomorrow against the Leathernecks. Junior Miguel Ausua (4-2, 3.00 ERA) will take the ball for ORU, Ausua is in search of his team-leading fifth victory of the season. Due to impending rain Sunday afternoon, tomorrow’s game will be played at 11 a.m. instead of the usual 1 p.m. Sunday start time.
-Catcher Matt Whaltey went 0-4 with a fielder’s choice and run scored ending his on-base streak at 25 games. While he did get on-base, according to NCAA rules reaching on an error or fielder’s choice does not count toward such streaks.
-ORU reliever Bill Lovvorn has thrown 10 straight scoreless innings with a spotless 1 2/3 innings on Saturday afternoon.