Going into day three of the NCAA regional baseball tournament at Baum Stadium, Oral Roberts coach Ryan Folmar isn’t afraid despite battling out of the loser’s bracket. The Golden Eagles have their ace saved heading into a Sunday elimination game.
ORU (43-15) advanced to Sunday’s loser’s bracket final with a 14-6 victory over Oklahoma State on Saturday. Oklahoma State was eliminated. ORU meets the loser of the Arkansas-Missouri State game at 3 p.m. Sunday at Baum Stadium.
ORU will start Justin McGregor, a righthander, on Sunday. McGregor was the Friday night starter for ORU all season. He’s 9-0 with a 2.81 ERA. He has 66 strikeouts in 77 innings.
Folmar said he elected to start Miguel Ausua on Friday night against Arkansas to get a lefty on lefty matchup with Chad Spanberger, Dominic Fletcher and Jax Biggers. Arkansas beat ORU, 3-0, on Friday. It was the first time the Golden Eagles had been shutout all season.
“When we looked at the weekend and saw a really good, talented Arkansas club that has a bunch of left-handed hitters in that lineup that can really hurt you in a big way, we thought (LHP) Miguel Ausua was going to be a better matchup. But understand Justin has taken the ball for us every Friday during conference play.He’s ready to go. We feel like our bullpen should be in good shape to go, too.”
I am tired of seeing all these great pitchers. They have been a real challenge for the Hogs. If Arkansas is going to make the super regional they are going to have to figure out this pitcher and get the bats going in a big way.
I think this is an instance where “ace” and “Friday starter” are not interchangeable. The stats back up that Ausua is ORU’s ace; he just hasn’t been pitching in the Friday role. It reminds me a little of what Arkansas did a few years back with DJ Baxendale pitching on Saturdays.