Updated: Jun 16
By Noah Darling
OMAHA, NE- Oral Roberts picked up its first College World Series victory in program history in the Opening Game of the 2023 Men's College World Series on Friday afternoon.
The scoring between ORU and TCU began with Cole Fontenelle's 4th inning home run giving the Horned Frogs an early lead.
The 6th inning produced three more runs, starting in the top half via a homer from Oral’s Mac McCroskey, that drove in the first two Golden Eagle runs of the afternoon. TCU again called on Fontenelle to produce TCU’s second run in the bottom half, this time with a single.
The MCWS opener looked like another classic pitchers duel at Charles Schwab Field until the 8th and 9th innings, which featured seven total runs. Regional 2 seed TCU first took a commanding three-run lead, via walks, a hit batter, and a sac fly, but Regional 4 seed ORU continued its magical postseason stretch, responding with a four-run top-of-the-ninth, highlighted by a three-run jack off the bat of Blaze Brothers, shocking TCU and most of the Omaha crowd. Oral Roberts' Justin Quinn, who had four hits in the contest, said, "It shows the belief and fight that we have, pretty confident in playing together; it's special."
Oral Roberts hung on in the ninth, despite allowing a couple of Horned Frog baserunners, to pick up a huge win for the Summit League Champions (and NCBWA Stopper of the Year Cade Denton), who are suddenly in the driver's seat in Omaha.
TCU Head Coach Kirk Saarloos said, “It was a great baseball game, it just sucks that we lost”. Saarloos and Co. will be “chomping at the bit” to get right back out on Sunday afternoon, as they’ll play the loser of Florida-Virginia in an elimination game that could send one of the five former national champions in the Omaha field home. Oral Roberts will face the winner of Gators-Cavaliers Sunday night.
BOX SCORE: https://www.ncaa.com/game/6147526/boxscore