The Oakland University baseball season concluded with a narrow 3-2 loss to Oral Roberts University at the Summit League Tournament on May 26 at J.L. Johnson Stadium in Tulsa, Okla. OU (25-31) matched their highest finish in the tournament with third place.
Oakland’s record in the tournament was 1-2 with their only win being against Southern Utah University. OU also won their last regular season series against Southern Utah, sweeping the last three of the four games. The final game of which took place on Senior Day, Saturday, May 19 where OU won 6-5 in 11 innings.
This was OU’s fifth Summit League Tournament appearance in division one history, and their second appearance in the last three years.
Despite a string of losses to begin the season, OU finished strong by earning the chance to compete in the Summit League Tournament and winning Coach of the Year for Head Coach John Musachio.
“Coach definitely earned ‘Coach of the Year’ honors for the Summit League,” Nolan Jacoby, a junior and OU’s designated hitter said. “He works so hard. From what he does in the office, to recruiting, organizing camps and fund raisers and running a baseball program… Most importantly, he always believed in us even when we started off 3-21.”
Jacoby, who went 4-4 at bat on the Senior Day victory against SUU, also earned a spot of the Summit League All-Tournament team. His .462 on-base-percentage for the week of the tournament was OU’s highest: he reached the base six times in the three games. He also averaged .300 at bat for the tournament.
Fellow OU honorees for the All-Tournament team were Tim Ryan, a senior centerfielder and Jason Hager a left-handed, sophomore pitcher with a 5-0 record against Summit League opponents this year.
Ryan received All-Summit League first team honors and broke a school record with 83 career stolen bases while leading the Summit League this year with 26. Ryan also now holds the school record for games played at 207 games after starting 52 games in the regular season, and all three tournament games. Ryan has 47 runs this season, the fourth most in school history.
Oakland players also received end-of-the-year individual honors. Pitcher Jeff Gorecki and catcher Jake Morton earned All-Summit League second team honors, while Kyle Bobolts, who both pitches and plays infield, received Summit League Player of the Week and OU Player of the Week for his contributions during the SUU series.
Other players this season that were named, Summit League Player/Pitcher of the Week included Aaron Cieslak and Robby Enslen as well as Gorecki and Ryan.
Oakland had their best Division I year yet with regards to the league; going 15-6 for a .714 winning percentage. They also did not lose a single series against league opponents this year. With a .321 team batting average, OU had the best average of any Summit League team this year.
The team goes into next season without 10 of this year’s seniors including Cieslak, Gorecki and Ryan. Also departing is Assistance Coach Damon Lessler, who has been hired by the Bellingham Bells, a West Coast League baseball team from Bellingham, Wa.
Contact Staff Reporter Mark McMillan via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @markamcmillan