LEWISTON, Idaho – Kirk Walker went 4-for-6 with two
RBI and David Dennis drove in three runs to help Oklahoma
City University defeat Embry-Riddle University 11-6 in a
loser-out contest at the 52nd annual Avista NAIA World
Series at Harris Field on Tuesday.
The Stars, 57-11, collected 16 hits in the game, but unlike
its previous games when it used their big bats to produce
runs, the Stars relied more on manufacturing runs. The Stars
had 13 singles in the contest and scored three runs through
sacrifice flies and two on wild pitches. Those plays helped
OCU break a 2-2 tie with four runs in the fifth inning and
four more in the seventh to keep its title hopes alive.
The No. 2 seed in the 10-team double-elimination tournament
has now scored 26 runs and collected 41 hits in its three
Embry-Riddle, the No. 6 seed, finishes it season at 44-18.
The Eagles managed to respond early to each Stars’ attack,
but couldn’t collect the big hit in the final three innings
OCU is one of four teams left in the tournament and will
face Lee University on Wednesday at either 3 or 7 p.m. PST.
Lee played Lewis-Clark State late Tuesday night in a battle
of the only undefeated teams left in the tournament. The
LCSC-Lee winner will play in the 7 p.m. game on Wednesday,
while the loser will play at 3 p.m. LCSC will face Spring
Arbor in Wednesday’s other contest.
Against Embry-Riddle, the Stars had plenty of pop through
the lineup. The Nos. 1-4 hitters combined for nine hits,
four runs scored and six RBI, while B.J. Wheeler, the No. 9
hitter in the lineup, went 2-for-3 with three runs scored
and two RBI.
The two teams exchanged runs in the first and fourth innings
for a 2-2 tie. Dennis had an RBI sacrifice fly and Landon
Camp had an RBI double for OCU’s two runs, while Kyle
Albright accounted for both of the Eagles’ runs with a
sacrifice fly in the first and a solo home run, his 14th
homer of the season, in the fourth. Albright finished
3-for-3 with two runs and two RBI.
OCU then broke loose for four runs in the fifth. Wheeler
started the rally with a solo home run on the first pitch to
left field, while Walker and Dennis added RBI singles. A
wild pitch brought in the final run.
After Tommy Cauley’s RBI single made it 6-3 in the bottom of
the fifth, Dennis hit a sacrifice fly in the sixth to make
Again, the Eagles rallied with three runs in the bottom of
the inning when Brandon Roper-Hubbert blasted a three-run
home run, his fourth of the season, to make it 7-6.
OCU, however, again answered with a big four-run inning.
Four consecutive singles drove in the first run, while a
wild pitch and sacrifice fly brought in the next two. The
final run scored on a single by Walker.
Despite going down in order in the seventh, Embry-Riddle put
two runners on in each of the last two innings, but failed
David Odquist, the first of four OCU pitchers, went 5.1
innings and allowed five hits and five runs to pick up the
win and improve to 12-2 on the season. He walked two and
struck out four. The final three pitchers combined to allow
only four hits and one run with three strikeouts over the
final 3.2 innings.
Embry-Riddle starter John Keravich took the loss to fall to
6-4. He allowed nine hits and six runs in four innings.