WIU baseball kicked off the Summit League Tournament in Tulsa, Oklahoma with a 5-2 loss to Oral Roberts. The fourth seeded Leathernecks now move on to face second seeded North Dakota State today at noon, facing elimination.
The Leathernecks fell to the Golden Eagles in familar fashion, as the game slipped away in the seventh and eighth innings. A two run third inning gave ORU the lead, but WIU tied things back up with a run in both the fifth and sixth innings. Small-ball is what Western needed to do to bring in these runs, with a fifth inning Steve McShane groundout scoring Chris Tschida and an RBI single from Mitch Ellis evening things up at two in the sixth.
An Oral Roberts sacrifice fly gave the Golden Eagles a 3-2 lead in the bottom of the seventh. Then it was cleanup hitter Noah Cummings that opened the game up for ORU, hitting a two-run homer in the bottom of the eighth. Western did not score in the final three innings, falling 5-2. WIU starter Preston Church pitched a complete game for Western Illinois in the loss. He gave up five runs on eight hits with two walks and five strikeouts. The Leathernecks had six hits on the night.