Thursday, May 22, 2003
Tulsa, Okla. ? Fourth-seed Valpo lost to top seed Oral Roberts 8-0 in the first round of the Mid-Continent Conference Tournament. Dennis Bigley tossed a one-hit, complete game and struck out 12 for the Golden Eagles. Eric Snyder had the Crusaders' lone hit, a single in the seventh. David Castillo and Bigley each hit solo homers for ORU.
Bigley (10-2) was the story for ORU as he retired the first 18 Valpo batters before Snyder singled to lead off the seventh. A sophomore righthander, Bigley allowed one other baserunner, Marc Boggio, who was hit by a pitch with two outs in the seventh.
ORU grabbed a 1-0 lead in the first inning on Castillo's 17th homer of the season. The Golden Eagles extended their advantage to 5-0 with a four-run, fourth. Scott Campbell plated a run with a RBI bunt and Nate Griffin produced another with a RBI groundout. The Golden Eagles scored the other two runs as a result of a throwing error and a caught-stealing situation where Campbell raced home just before Kevin Lamb was tagged out.
ORU scored single runs in each of the next three frames. Ryan Welborn stole home in the fifth and added a RBI single in the sixth. Bigley hit his seventh homer of the season in the seventh.
Tom Starck (4-2) took the loss, hurling 4 1/3 innings. The Mid-Con's Co-Pitcher of the Year allowed five earned runs and three hits, while striking out two and walking six. Kyle Obenauf pitched 3 2/3 innings, allowing two runs and four hits, while fanning three and walking one.
Valpo will face Western Illinois on Friday at noon in an elimination game. The Leathernecks lost a one-run, 12-inning contest to Southern Utah on Thursday. ORU will play Southern Utah on Friday at 3:30 p.m.