Eagles’ bats fall silent as Fresno Pacific eliminates OC from NCCAA World Series

Senior Garrett Stephenson had one of OC's two hits Friday in a loss to Fresno Pacific.
Senior Garrett Stephenson had one of OC's two hits Friday in a loss to Fresno Pacific.

MASON, Ohio (May 16, 2014) – Needing a win to keep the baseball season going, Oklahoma Christian never could solve Fresno Pacific (Calif.) pitcher Eian Raeber on Friday afternoon.

Raeber threw a complete-game two-hitter as the Sunbirds blanked top-seeded OC 4-0 at Legacy Field, eliminating the Eagles from the National Christian College Athletic Association World Series.

OC finished 1-2-1 in pool play, managing only 23 hits in its four games – with only five of those coming in its two losses in the tournament. OC (38-17-1) did set the program’s single-season record for wins, but that was small consolation for the Eagles, who qualified for the NCCAA World Series for the second straight season but failed to make it out of pool play into the semifinals.

“I’m disappointed for the guys,” OC coach Lonny Cobble said. “I wish we could have played our best. I really appreciate the effort the guys gave, not only this week, but all year.

“I told them this team set the bar for OC baseball for years to come. I am very proud to be an OC Eagle! We just couldn’t get the big hit when we needed it this week.”

The Eagles’ only hits off Raeber (7-2) were a fourth-inning single to right field by Robert Rosser and a two-out single to right by Garrett Stephenson in the seventh. Raeber walked two and struck out four while outdueling OC ace Brandon Pierce (10-4), who allowed eight hits and four runs (two earned) and struck out eight in his final game with the Eagles.

Fourth-seeded Fresno Pacific (36-19) – which remained unbeaten in pool play and advanced to the semifinals with the win – scored the runs it needed in the third inning. Michael Hostetler’s two-run double to right field off Pierce broke a scoreless tie and Hostetler eventually stole home to make it 3-0.

Baron Bower singled with one out for the Sunbirds in the fifth, took second on a groundout and scored on an error by OC catcher Cameron Keener.

OC’s national-tournament appearance was its third in the program’s history, along with last season’s squad and the 1972 team, which finished third at the NAIA World Series. The Eagles will say farewell to 15 seniors who helped the program rebound from an 8-34 finish two years ago.

The Eagles also will lose assistant coach Manny Cervantes, who has accepted the head-coaching job at Asbury (Ky.) and will soon be moving to the Bluegrass State.