TULSA, Okla. -- A ninth-inning rally came up just short Sunday afternoon, as the Omaha baseball team fell 6-5 to Oral Roberts at J.L. Johnson Stadium. The Mavericks are now 12-36 (9-16 Summit League) on the season, while the Golden Eagles improve to 36-14 (23-4) after the weekend series sweep.
Trevor McCutchin (1-0) earned the win in relief, throwing the final third of an inning with one hit and a walk with one strikeout. The loss went to junior Corey Binger (3-10), who allowed one run on four hits and a walk over 2.0 innings.
ORU starter Miguel Ausua threw 6.2 innings, limiting Omaha to two hits and a walk with 10 strikeouts. Sophomore Cal Hehnke had the start for the Mavericks, holding the Golden Eagles to one run on five hits with four walks and six strikeouts in 6.0 innings of work.
Senior Sam Palensky was 2-for-4 with a run scored, while sophomore Nate Mallott finished 2-for-4 with a pair of runs driven in to pace Omaha offensively.
For the second straight game, a Brent Williams homer put ORU on the board, as his solo shot to left in the second inning made it 1-0.
Omaha's defense shined from there, as a spectacular play by Palensky in the third robbed Noah Cummings of an RBI single up the middle to end the inning and keep it to a one-run ballgame. ORU also put runners on the corners with two outs in the sixth, when junior Cole Patterson laid out for a diving grab on Sam Grellner's knock to the left center gap, again depriving the Golden Eagles of a scoring opportunity and closing the frame.
After stranding a combined six runners from the third to the sixth innings, ORU added to its lead in the seventh by plating four runs on five hits. After a groundout opened the inning, four consecutive singles -- including RBI base hits by Cummings and Williams -- pushed in the first two runs. Trent Shelton later delivered a two-out, two-run single to left, which brought the tally to 5-0.
Down five heading to the ninth, Omaha staged a five-hit, five-run rally to erase the Golden Eagles' advantage. After sophomore Henry Wittren reached on a fielder's choice and ORU called for a pitching change, sophomore Jack Kalina doubled down the left field line to put runners in scoring position. Mallott then singled to right center to drive in both, cutting it to 5-2. Patterson followed by reaching on a fielder's choice, and a single down the left field line by junior Adam Caniglia along with a Palensky bunt single loaded the bases for the Mavericks and prompted another ORU call to the bullpen. Senior Marcus Ethen then worked a full-count walk to score Patterson, and after another pitching change, sophomore Riley Herold came up big with a first-pitch, two-run single to center that drove in Caniglia and Palensky and put the game in a 5-5 deadlock. Though redshirt freshman Andrew Hall drew a full-count walk to load the bases once more, ORU got out of the jam with a strikeout.
In the bottom of the ninth, three straight one-out singles by Williams, Dylan Snypes and Michael Hungate juiced the bags for the Golden Eagles. Shelton then mustered a full-count walk to drive in Williams, which gave ORU the walkoff win at 6-5.
Williams led ORU with a 3-for-5 day at the plate, scoring three times and driving in two runs. Snypes was also 3-for-3 with a run, and Shelton was 2-for-2 with three RBI and three walks.
Omaha plays its final non-conference game of the season this Tuesday, May 16, visiting Iowa. First pitch is set for 6:05 p.m. in Iowa City, Iowa, and the game will be broadcast live on BTN Plus. Links to live stats, audio and video will be available on OMavs.com.