Home Run: ORU Keeps Fans On Edge During Game 1 Of College World Series

The Golden Eagles have reached a point where you simply expect them to win. Bouncing back from an 8-0 deficit in regionals and a 7-4 deficit in a must-win super regional game two can have that effect on a fan base.

Friday, June 16th 2023, 10:19 pm

By: N/A N/A


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When Blaze Brothers hit the biggest home run of his life, I didn’t see it.

I was down in the media work room, preparing our gear for postgame interviews after ORU’s College World Series opener against TCU. I looked up at the monitor just when the ball cleared third base. How did I react, you ask? Was it shock, mouth agape? A fist pump, an adrenaline rush? No, none of those.

I said to myself, in a calm voice, “of course he hit a home run.”

That’s where ORU baseball is right now. They turn reality on its head, make every day opposite day, and make the unexpected, expected.

Of course he hit a home run.

The Golden Eagles have reached a point where you simply expect them to win. Bouncing back from an 8-0 deficit in regionals and a 7-4 deficit in a must-win super regional game two can have that effect on a fan base. They’re the third four seed to ever make it to Omaha, the second team to win after trailing by three or more in the seventh inning or later, and now, find themselves a win away from the bracket final at the College World Series.

What made Friday’s opener that much more impressive was who wasn’t involved. Jonah Cox saw his 47-game hit streak snapped as part of an 0-5 day. Senior Jake McMurray, also 0-5. Cleanup hitter Matt Hogan, 0-4. Cade Denton, who was named National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association Stopper of the Year earlier in the morning, walked three and gave up three runs in the eighth. But the common theme postgame from ORU was “one through nine,” and this game showed that. Justin Quinn sandwiched four hits out of the three spot in between McMurray’s, Cox’s, and Hogan’s combined 0-14. Starter Jakob Hall was tremendous: Five innings, four hits, two runs, two strikeouts, keeping ORU in the game. Drew Stahl had an RBI in the ninth to allow Brothers to bat as the go-ahead run.

Then of course, Brothers. Batting in the number nine spot, a three-run, game-winning home run.

Things will get markedly tougher for ORU on Sunday. They will face either Florida or Virginia at 6:00 p.m. (Virginia leads, 4-3, in the eighth inning as of this writing.) Whoever they play will be by far the best team they’ve faced this postseason. The Golden Eagles have had the good luck of some fortunate draws. Oregon upsetting Vanderbilt so they didn’t have to face the Commodores in Nashville, and drawing a TCU team in the Omaha opener that had been decidedly mediocre most of the season until catching lightning in a bottle at just the right time. Sunday, ORU will face either the no. 7 or no. 2 team in the nation.

But at this point, can you bet against them? I know I can’t.

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