Baseball scores impressive series victory over Wright State to open conference play


Stanley Tu

The Oakland baseball team got their first series victory against Wright State ever this weekend.

The Oakland University Golden Grizzlies Baseball won a three-game series 2-1 against the Wright State Raiders on March 18-20 in Dayton, Ohio.

The Golden Grizzlies entered Nischwitz Stadium looking for their first win against Wright State since 2018, he Raiders wanted to keep their momentum from their first series win over Indiana State. This was the first Horizon League series of the season for both teams.

In game one, Oakland was aggressive at-bat, forcing an error to get the first of many batters on base. Oakland advanced two runners into scoring position after a sacrifice bunt, putting them on second and third base. Graduate infielder Brad Goulet would hit a single, allowing the two runners to score, giving Oakland a 2-0 lead in the third inning. Senior pitcher Bryce Konitzer controlled the pace of the game, not allowing a single run through eight innings. Oakland would score four unanswered runs until the ninth, where Wright State would mount a brief comeback, scoring two, before ultimately falling to Oakland 4-2.

The win gave the Golden Grizzlies their first win over the Raiders in four years.

Game two, which was the first of a doubleheader, saw a much more prepared and focused Wright State. The Raiders scored in the first inning, but would go on an amazing run in the third, scoring seven runs, three of which were home runs including a 3-run homer. Oakland would fight back, but the offensive onslaught continued in the fifth, where Wright State went on to score four more. Despite the Golden Grizzlies best efforts, including a home run from freshman Brandon Nigh for their second run, Wright State would take game 2 with a score of 14-2.

In the final game of the series, the first four innings were all Oakland. The Golden Grizzlies would score in the first, third, and fourth to lead 4-0 and pressure the Raiders. Wright State forced their way to home plate after the four unanswered runs, bringing the score to 4-2 until Oakland scored off a double in the fifth to put the score up 6-2. Oakland held on to a 6-3 lead until the bottom of the ninth, where an error would allow Wright State to close the gap 6-5. Despite the dramatic moment, Oakland would hold on and win the game 6-5, and win their first conference series of the year 2-1.

Oakland’s pitching struggles were evident in the final two games, giving up a combined 19 runs, but were able to improve upon previous encounters both from pitching and from run support. The Golden Grizzlies are continually getting on base and their aggression is forcing teams to beat them defensively.

Oakland will face Bowling Green Falcons on the road on March 22, before returning home to face Horizon League rival Purdue- Fort Wayne Mastodons on March 25-27. The Golden Grizzlies will face the 2-17 Mastodons on their quest for two straight series wins. In a season where Oakland is looking to build momentum, they will have to take each series one game at a time.