The opening day of college baseball’s 2023 Super Regionals did not disappoint as history was made in Eugene, Oregon.
The Oregon Ducks dug themselves out of an 8-0, third-inning deficit to beat Oral Roberts 9-8 on Friday, completing the largest comeback in Super Regional history.
Oregon shortstop Drew Cowley came through with a walk-off single in the ninth inning, setting off a wild celebration in Eugene.
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With a win on Saturday, Oregon would punch its first ticket to the College World Series since 1954.
“This team’s got a toughness to them that I’ve never seen before — they won’t quit,” Oregon coach Mark Wasikowski said, according to The Oregonian. “Come back from an 8-0 deficit, as disappointed as they were in the third inning, they’ve been working to build this thing to where a day like this would happen with this number of people here and the energy.
“To get really punched in the face at the beginning of this game, I don’t think I’d ever imagine another team being able to rebound from that, the disappointment of what probably our guys were feeling at that time and yet they did.”
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Oral Roberts put up an eight spot in the third inning before Oregon started to chip away at the lead.
The Ducks tied the game in the seventh inning and the Oregon pitching staff was able to keep Oral Roberts scoreless after the third-inning barrage.
“We talk about playing each inning at a time and not playing the score,” Cowley said. “Get the team together in the dugout and say that exactly; we’re playing each inning, we’re not playing the score. We’re playing for momentum and keep pushing, keep chipping away. … It doesn’t matter what the score is, we’re always in the game.”
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Oral Roberts will now look to rebound in Game 2 on Saturday after having its 21-game winning streak snapped in historic fashion.
“Tomorrow’s a new day,” ORU first baseman Jake McMurray said, per The Oregonian. “Still got to be able to win two games on the weekend; they still got to beat us again. I think we got to flush this one and get right back after it tomorrow.”
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