A late rally from the Oral Roberts baseball team came up just short Sunday night as they fell to the No. 2 overall seed Florida Gators, 5-4, in the 2023 College World Series from Charles Schwab Field.
The Golden Eagles left 13 runners on base and went 2-for-11 with runners in scoring position on the night.
Despite striking out six, Harley Gollert suffered the loss after allowing five runs over three innings. In relief, Dalton Patten, Jacob Widener and Evan Kowalski combined for six scoreless frames and eight strikeouts.
After Florida struck first with a two-run homer in the top half of the second, the Golden Eagles responded with an RBI single from Justin Quinn in the bottom half of the frame to cut the deficit to 2-1.
The Gators extended their lead, 5-1, in the fourth behind a solo shot and a two-run homer. Following a one-out walk from Quinn in the seventh, Matt Hogan brought new life to ORU as the senior belted a ball off the left-center field wall that skipped away from the outfielders leading to an inside-the-park home run. The inside-the-park homer was the first in the College World Series since Chris Burke in 2001 and the first-ever at Charles Schwab Field.
Trailing 5-3 in the eighth, the Golden Eagles loaded the bases with two outs, bringing Justin Quinn to the plate. A mound visit by the Gators, which was their seventh of the game, forced an unplanned change on the mound. Quinn worked a full count but ultimately lined out to the left fielder as Florida escaped the jam.
In the ninth, the Golden Eagles put the winning run on first with only one out following a Holden Breeze walk that loaded the bases. After a Drew Stahl RBI fielder’s choice cut the deficit to one, 5-4, Jacob Godman drove the ball hard to left-center but it hung in the air long enough as Florida made the catch and held on for the win.
The Golden Eagles will face TCU in an elimination game on Tuesday at 1 PM.
Oral Roberts head coach Ryan Folmar, along with players Matt Hogan and Jake McMurray, spoke about the loss after the game. Video is courtesy of the NCAA.