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The Journal Gazette

Wednesday, March 16, 2016 6:14 am

IPFW baseball falls in Summit League title game

Journal Gazette

Oral Roberts rode the strong starting pitching of Bryce Howe to a 6-0 victory over IPFW in the championship game of the Summit League baseball tournament in Sioux Falls. S.D.

IPFW ends its season at 28-26, a program record for victories, and the first winning season by the Mastodons since 1999.

Jonathan Valenzuela-Reece, Ryan Wells, Greg Kaiser, and Evan VanSumeren were all named to the Summit League All-Tournament Team.

VanSumeren led IPFW with two hits, going 2 for 4, while the team's remaining two hits came from Kendall Whitman and Kaiser.

Howe pitched a career-high seven innings, striking out seven batters.

IPFW had its chances early, as VanSumeren and Whitman had back-to-back one-out singles, and advanced to third with two outs; however, VanSumeren was thrown out at the plate attempting to score on a wild pitch by Howe.

An inning later Kaiser opened the inning with a double down the left field line, but was left stranded after a line-out, strikeout, and groundout ended the inning. VanSumeren hit a two-out single in the third, but was erased on a fielder's choice, closing the scoring attempt for the third straight inning.

IPFW starter Trevor Storie opened the game with three scoreless innings before ORU first baseman Audie Afenir hit a solo home run in the fourth.

In the fifth, Oral Roberts got an infield bunt single from Chase Stafford, who advanced to second when the throw from the pitcher was off target. A sacrifice bunt moved Stafford to third, before scoring on a double from Derrian James. A wild pitch moved James to third, before scoring on a Matt Brandy single, putting the visitors ahead 3-0.

In the top of the ninth, Oral Roberts added to its advantage with a two-run home run from second baseman Brandy, putting the Golden Eagles ahead 5-0 before ORU added a run on a throwing error later in the inning, staking the team to a 6-0 advantage with one turn at bat for IPFW remaining in the contest.