Oklahoma City, Oklahoma — A three-run, top of the ninth inning gave Northwestern a 5-2, extra-inning win over No.16 Oklahoma City in game two of a doubleheader played today at Jim Wade Stadium in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. The Raiders lost game one, 5-4, and move to 4-4 this season.
The game two win was the first in program history against Oklahoma City, the winningest baseball program in the NAIA since 1991.
Tied at two in the top of the ninth, Northwestern pushed across three runs on three hits to take a 5-2 lead. Evan Olesen led off with a pinch-hit, infield single and advance to second on a sacrifice bunt by Sutton Derr. Following a wild pitch that advanced Olesen to third and a walk to Josh Fakkema, Kip Cullinan put down a bunt single that scored the winning run (Olesen) from third. Two batters later, Noa Vogel belted a two-run triple, giving the Raiders valuable insurance runs.
Ryan Reynolds pitched around a leadoff walk, getting the Stars to ground into a 6-4-3 double play, and struck out pinch hitter Evan Maun to record his second save.
Brett Shelton (2-0) pitched eight brilliant innings to earn his second win of the season. The sophomore right hander gave up seven hits, two runs and struck out a career-best 12 OKC hitters.
Said Northwestern Head Coach Brian Wede, “Brett was outstanding…he was in command from the start. His only two walks were both intentional and toward the end of the game. Our defense made some key plays late in the game including a big double play in the ninth to erase a leadoff walk.”
Northwestern totaled nine hits, led by Cullinan who went 2-for-4 with a run and RBI. Six other Raider hitters had one hit, including Vogel who drove in three.
Coach Wede’s squad grabbed 1-0 lead after the first when Cullinan singled, advanced to third after a double from Colton Harold and scored on an RBI groundout by Vogel. Northwestern made it 2-0 when Fakkema singled home Sutton Derr in the top of the third.
The Stars plated their first run on a two-out single by Peyton Crispin, scoring Cross Factor from second. Crispin delivered again in the top of the seventh, hitting a leadoff home run to send the game into extra innings.
Shelton struck out the side in the bottom the eighth inning, sending down Jared Hazeltine with the winning run at third.
Bryson Lierle (0-1), the third of four pitchers to take the mound for the Stars in game two, gave up four hits and three runs in 2.2 innings. Connor Ferguson gave up five hits and one earned run over the first four innings.
Oklahoma City scored two runs in the bottom of the fifth inning to earn a come-from-behind 5-4 win in game one. Factor tied the game with an RBI double, scoring Gunner Halter who reached base after being hit-by-pitch. The winning run scored three batters later off a Raider error on a ball hit by Crispin.
Brady Roberts (0-1) pitched well for the Raiders, limiting OKC to 10 hits and three earned runs in six innings. The sophomore walked one and struck out two in a 91-pitch performance.
Fakkema was the star at the plate for Northwestern, going 2-3 with a three-run home run in the top of the fourth inning that put his team up 3-2. Elijah Rash, Jaden Snyder and Harold all had one hit each for the Raiders.
Tied at three, Northwestern grabbed the lead for the final time when Snyder drew a walk and scored on a double by Harold.
Tyler Polk (2-1) picked up the win in relief, holding the Raiders scoreless over the final two innings.
Northwestern will play Mid-America on Tuesday at 1pm in Oklahoma City.