By: Terrill J. Weil
Da Boot Sports
BATON ROUGE, LA: LSU (8-1) comes into this weekend's series with Oral Roberts (2-6) at Alex Box
Stadium on a seven game winning streak. Unfortunately, the Golden Eagles would end it with a 22-7 victory. No, that's not a typo... The final score was Oral Roberts 22, #8 LSU 7...
It was simply one of those games where everything goes wrong for one team, while everything goes right for the other.
Jaden Hill would take the mound for the 8th ranked Tigers and for some strange reason struggled badly against the Golden Eagles hitters.
Joshua Cox would lead off the game with a double to left field, followed by a double by Ryan Cash, scoring Cox. Jake McMurray would step to the plate and single to left field putting runners on the corners with no outs. Next Jordan Wiley would hit a single, moving McMurray to second and scoring Cash.
Hill would continue to struggle as he would hit Adam Oviedo to load the bases. Caleb Denny would continue the bleeding as he would single to score McMurray.
With the bases still loaded with no outs, Hill would walk in a run as he would send Hunter Swift to first on a base on balls.
The Tigers would finally register their first out of the inning when Brody Gibson would pop out to LSU catcher Alex Milazzo. However the sacks would remain loaded.
Paul Mainieri would have seen enough after Hill would allow another run to cross the plate, walking Anthony Martinez to move the runners up.
Theo Millas would replace Hill to try and stop the Oral Roberts attack. Cox would step to the plate as the Eagles ended up batting around. Millas would get Cox to pop out to Zach Arnold for the second out.
Cash would then step up, hitting his second double of the inning, clearing the bases with three RBIs. The Tigers would finally get the third out with McMurray grounding out to short stop. We would go to the bottom of the 1st inning with Oral Roberts up, 8-0.
With everyone in the Box in shock, the Tigers would look to get their explosive bats swinging. Dylan Crews would lead off with a single to center field. Tre' Morgan would step up next and single to right field sending Crews to third base.
With runners on the corners and no outs, Eagles starting pitcher James Notary would throw a wild pitch, allowing Crews to score and Morgan to advance to second base.
Brody Drost would step up to the plate and and draw a base on balls. After a Cade Beloso fly out, Gavin Dugas would single down the left field line scoring Morgan and sending Drost to third base. After Dugas would steal second, Zach Arnold would ground out to short stop scoring Drost.
Drew Bianco would pop out in foul territory to end the 1st inning of play with Oral Robert leading 8-3.
Millas would take the mound to start the second inning, turning up the heat as he would quiet the Golden Eagle bats, three up-three down...
The Tigers now seemed to finally be fully awake to begin the second inning. Jordan Thompson would start things off with a lead off single to left field. Alex Milazzo would then single up the middle over the second base bag.
Crews would step to the plate and hit a high pop up to shallow right center field, but he would reach first base on an error, when no one for the Eagles would make a call for the ball. Their right fielder, center fielder, and 2nd baseman would all collide letting the ball hit the ground. Milazzo and Thompson would both advance, setting up loaded bases with no outs for Tre' Morgan.
Morgan would double to the right field corner, clearing the bases for three RBIs. Drost would then ground out advancing Morgan to third base. Beloso would pick up a RBI, hitting a sacrifice fly to left field allowing Morgan to tag up and cross the plate for another LSU run.
Dugas would strike out to end the inning with the score now, Oral Roberts 8, LSU 7.
Theo Millas would pick up where he left off in the second inning, facing only four Oral Roberts batters, allowing only a quiet single, as we would quickly head to the bottom of the third.
New Oral Roberts pitcher Evan Kowalski would come in and keep the Tigers scoreless in the third inning.
Millas would face the lead off hitter in the top of the 4th, giving up a single. Mainieri would go to the bullpen, brining in Ma'Khail Hilliard in relief.
Hilliard would struggle badly, allowing the Golden Eagles to extend their lead.
McMurray would single, putting runners on first and second with no outs. Hilliard would then hit the next batter to load the bases with no outs.
Oviedo would single to left field, bringing a run to the plate while keeping the sacks loaded. Denny would then single to left field scoring Wiley and McMurray. With runners on first and second, Swift would reach first on a nicely placed bunt, loading the bases back up with still no one out.
After Hilliard would strike out Gibson, Martinez would single to right field scoring two more runs. This would be it for Hilliard as Brandon Kaminer would enter the ball game.
Kaminer would fair no better, as the Eagles hitters would continue to pound away. Cox would hit a single to right filed scoring Swift and moving Martinez to third. Cox would then steal second base safely.
Kaminer would then throw a wild pitch to Cash on ball four, walking Cash but allowing Martinez to score while Cox would move up to third.
Cash would steal second base before McMurray would draw a walk. Mainieri would scramble to
the bullpen trying to find someone who could stop the Oral Roberts onslaught at the plate.
With the score now 16-8, Jacob Hasty would enter the game. Hasty would surrender two more runs before getting the Tigers out of the inning. Halfway through the 4th, the Golden Eagles would lead, 19-7.
Well, the Tigers would come up to bat knowing they have lots of work ahead, finding themselves down by 12 runs. But Oral Roberts pitcher Evan Kowalski would have non of it, as he would first strike out Crews. After hitting Morgan, Drost would ground into a double play to end the 4th inning.
Hasty would hope to be the pitcher to settle in and calm down the Eagles bats. Hasty would get the lead off batter to strike out, but Martinez would reach first base safely on a passed ball by Milazzo. Cox would ground out to Hasty advancing Martinez to second. Cash would then draw a walk. With runners on first and second with only one out, McMurray would smash a single to left field scoring Martinez to make the score now 20-7.
Hasty would then hit Wiley to load the bases. Oviedo would reach first base safely on a fielding error by Jordan Thompson. This would score Cash and keep the bases loaded with still only one out.
Caleb Denny would reach first on a fielders choice, earning a RBI as McMurray would cross the plate. The Tigers would finally get out of the top of the inning with Swift grounding out to Bianco. 22-7 Oral Roberts.
The Tigers would go quietly in the 5th, as Kowalski would continue to cause problems for the LSU hitters.
Freshmen Michael Fowler would take over for Hasty in the 6th and would do a great job getting the Golden Eagles out in order, three up-three down.
The Tigers would continue to falter at the plate, going three up-three down to end the 6th inning.
Fowler would return to start the top of the 7th. After getting the lead off hitter to ground out, Fowler would hit the next batter, sending him to first. Wiley would then ground into a double play to get the Tigers out of the inning.
LSU would manage a base runner with one out, but would ground into a double play to end the
7th inning with Oral Roberts in total control, 22-7.
Oral Roberts would manage a base runner in the 8th, but would go quietly as Michael Fowler would do a great job on the mound getting LSU out of the inning.
Golden Eagles pitcher Evan Kowalski would continue to mow down the Tigers at the plate, as LSU would once again go three up-three down as we would head to the 9th inning.
Fowler would stay in trying to finish the contest with a strong effort, and would do just that, finishing strong on the mound taking down the Eagle hitters three up-three down. This would be the most runs that Oral Roberts has score in a ball game since beating Purdue Fort Wayne 25-2 in 2019.
LSU would go into their final at bat of the contest hoping to make a little noise to build some momentum for tomorrow afternoon's game two matchup. The Eagles would send in a new pitcher, Brett Gregory to end the game.
Hayden Travinski would lead things off with a single to left field. Braden Doughty would then draw a walk. Gregory would then strike out Sanford and Cranford, before Will Safford would fly out to center field for the final out.
“There are a lot of cliches’ I can use to describe today,” said LSU coach Paul Mainieri. “You’re never as good as you think you are, and you’re never as bad as you think you are. And, fortunately, the game only counts as one loss. The game of baseball can humble you; last week, Jaden Hill was dominant and was pinpoint with his control. Today, he just never really found a rhythm, and everything Oral Roberts hit seemed to find a hole. I felt so bad for the kid, because everything that could go wrong for him did go wrong. But, Jaden will certainly rebound from this and be ready to go again next Friday night. Overall for the team, this is one to forget; the best thing we can do is put it behind us quickly. Tomorrow the score starts at 0-0, and hopefull we’ll come out and play a lot better.”
Jaden Hill worked 0.1 inning allowing eight runs on five hits with two walks and no strikeouts. His record is now 2-1 on the season.
With the win, Oral Roberts improves to 3-6, while LSU is now 8-2. Both teams will play game two of the tree game series tomorrow at 3pm. The game will broadcast on SEC Netwrok+ and can be heard on 100.7 FM.