Patriots Win Over ORU, 4-2

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On a cool and windy night in Tulsa, Oklahoma, the Dallas Baptist Patriots (6-8) and the Oral Robert Golden Eagles (6-6) faced off in a rematch of games played in each of the last two NCAA Regionals. As in 2011 in Fort Worth and in 2012 in Waco, the Patriots were able to claim victory – this time with a 4-2 win at JL Johnson Stadium. The story of the night for DBU was pitching as Jake Johansen and Michael Smith teamed up to limit the Golden Eagles to seven hits on the night and pitched around threats throughout most of the game . Johansen was lifted with the game tied at two so Smith (2-2) was credited with the win in three innings of work, allowing only two hits and striking out the same.

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DBU collected seven hits on the night with all seven coming from the bottom third of the lineup. Austin Listi had two hits and a homerun, Nash Knight had two hits and an RBI and Jaime Garrido, batting in the nine hole, had three hits and an RBI.

The Patriots struck first in the third inning with some help from Oral Roberts. Nash Knight was hit by the second pitch of the inning and advanced to second on a balk. A wild pitch would move him to third before Jaime Garrido would flair a ball into right field to give the Patriots an early lead.

Freshman Austin Listi would tack on another DBU run in the fifth with his second homerun of the season, a towering drive into the teeth of the Tulsa wind that pushed the DBU lead to a pair. The two-run lead would not hold up long on this night, however. After pitching around threats in the first and fourth innings, Johansen was not able to escape in the fifth when two walks came in to score on a two-out, two-run single from Matt Brandy. Johansen hung a slider to the Golden Eagle clean-up hitter and he hit a one-hopper through the left side to tie the score.

The big righthander would give up a double in the sixth inning but nothing else before being lifted in favor of Michael Smith to start the seventh. Johansen allowed five hits in the start, walking three and striking out five.  Smith gave up a two-out double in his first inning of work and ORU made an aggressive bid for the lead with their final batter of the inning. Nash Knight made a sliding backhand play with the runner on second and two outs but his throw to first was late. ORU kept their baserunner on the move from second to home but Duncan McAlpine, making only his sixth start at first base on the season, alertly and quickly threw a strike to Michael Miller who deftly blocked the plate to keep the game tied.

In the meantime, Dan Heefner waited for his offense to score runs. After the Listi homerun in the fifth, Alex Gonzalez, the ORU starter, retired 11 of 13 at one point heading to the eighth. In that frame, however, fortune turned for the Patriots. Jaime Garrido lifted a soft single into centerfield to start the frame. A passed ball moved him to second andRJ Talamantes laid down a textbook sacrifice bunt to put the go-ahead run at third base. Garrido would complete the final ninety feet of his trek around the bases thanks to a wild pitch and Smith had a lead to pitch with at 3-2.

The senior  from Mansfield would make that lead stand, closing out the game in the ninth and picking up his second win of the season. DBU and Oral Roberts will play Game 2 on Saturday with first pitch set for 2:00 pm. Dallas Baptist will send Cy Sneed to the mound looking for his second win of the season as well. Live audio with Brendan Smith and Reagan Ratcliff will begin with the Pregame Show at 1:35 pm.

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