By Chris Derrett
Baylor struck early but sputtered down the stretch as the No. 1 seeded Bears fell, 4-2, to 4-seed Oral Roberts in the two teams’ first game of the Waco Regional on Friday night. Oral Roberts advances to the winners’ bracket where they face Dallas Baptist at 7 p.m. Saturday, and Baylor drops to the losers’ bracket and takes on UT-Arlington at 2 p.m. Saturday.
Baylor now must win four straight games to advance to its first Super Regional since the team advanced to the College World Series in 2005.
Oral Roberts scored all it needed in the sixth inning, the first run coming via back-to-back doubles from Brandon King and Bennett Pickar. Logan Domenico then drove in Pickar with the Golden Eagle’s third double of the inning as they tied the game at two.
With Domenico on second, Brandon Healy grounded an infield single deep in the hole to second baseman Lawton Langford. Erring on the side of aggression, the third base coach sent Domenico home, Langford’s throw missed high and Domenico scored the go-ahead run on the error.
Down 4-2 in the ninth, Baylor gave the 3,678 fans in attendance one more ounce of hope when a walk and dropped third strike put runners on first and second. Logan Vick grounded out to second, though, to end the game.
Baylor scored on Vick’s sacrifice fly in the first and later loaded the bases, but one run was all the Bears managed after a flyout and strikeout ended the inning.
The Bears scored again in the third when Josh Ludy homered to left and put his team ahead 2-0.
Turley faced bases loaded situations in the second and fifth innings yet held Oral Roberts scoreless in both frames.
The Golden Eagles added one more insurance run in the eighth with nine-hole hitter Nate Goro’s solo home run to left field.