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Stellar Starting Pitching Carries ORU to a Sweep of Friday’s Twinbill

Courtesy: ORU Media Relations
          Release: 02/22/2008
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SAN ANTONIO, Texas – Oral Roberts University’s baseball team won their 17th straight season-opener, beating Army 9-1, and then bested host UTSA 5-3 in the night cap in the first day of the UTSA Baseball Classic, Friday at Wolff Stadium.

Oral Roberts 9, Army 1
The Golden Eagles (2-0) scored six runs in the bottom of the sixth to separate themselves from Army (0-2) as ORU won their first game of the UTSA Baseball Classic, 9-1, Friday afternoon.

Junior college transfer Ben Petralli gave the Golden Eagles an early 1-0 lead in the bottom half of the first with a sacrifice fly to right field to score Brendan Duffy.

ORU scored single runs in each the second and third innings to build a 3-0 lead over Army. The Golden Eagles tried to increase their 3-0 lead in the third by loading the bases with only one out. But, Army’s starting pitcher Drew Clothier (0-1) struck out Ryan Groth and forced Juan Martinez to pop out to the first basemen to end the Golden Eagle threat.

Right-hander Jerry Sullivan (1-0) allowed runners in each the first, second and fourth innings, but was able to get out of the jams without any damage done.

The Black Knights finally got to Sullivan in the sixth by scoring a run off a RBI double by Joey Henshaw making it a 3-1 ball game.

ORU responded by scoring six runs in the bottom half of the sixth. The Golden Eagles loaded the bases off Clothier, who then walked Adam Younger to score Martinez from third. Clothier was relieved by Steve Cummins, who came in and hit Duffy on his first pitch to make it a 5-1 game.

The Golden Eagles then got a two-run double to left center from Kelly Minissale and a Brian Van Kirk two-run single up the middle before Army finally got pitch-hitter Pat Murray to ground out for the third out.

Sullivan had a strong first start of the season, allowing only one run in eight solid innings. The preseason All-American tied a career-high by striking out eight batters while just giving up six hits.

Jason Grace relieved Sullivan to start the ninth inning and pitched a scoreless inning to give the Golden Eagles their 17th straight season-opening win.

Oral Roberts 5, UTSA 3

Mark Serrano (1-0) threw 7.2 innings of no-hit ball and the Golden Eagles jumped out to an early 2-0 lead on the Roadrunners early in a 5-3 defeat of UTSA (0-1).

ORU jumped on UTSA in the first inning when Van Kirk hit a sacrifice fly with the bases loaded to score Duffy from third base. Duffy led off the inning with a seven-pitch walk and advanced to third after a bunt single by Minissale and a Petralli walk.

Duffy added his second run of the game in the second inning after UTSA’s second basemen committed a fielding error off a Minissale hit.

Petralli got things going in the fifth inning with a hard-hit single to center field that scored Minissale from second. The Weatherford, Texas native later scored what turned out to be the game-winning run after a single by Groth.

ORU added an insurance run in the sixth to take a 5-1 lead. David Genao led off the inning with a ground-rule double that bounced over the center field fence. Genao later scored when Younger doubled down the left field line.

Serrano, making his first Division I appearance, forced 12 ground outs and struck out four batters in 7.2 innings.

Serrano’s hopes of throwing ORU’s eighth no-hitter were dashed by UTSA’s Lance Brown with two outs in the seventh. Brown’s hard-hit line drive to left field just glanced off the glove of Groth’s diving attempt. Brown’s double came after Serrano walked Aaron Powell, who scored to put the Roadrunners on the board.

Brett Carroll relieved Serrano and forced Ryan Hutson to fly out to left to end the UTSA rally.

UTSA continued to fight back in the bottom of the ninth by scoring two runs off reliever Dale Reneau, making it a 5-3 game. With runners on first and second and two outs, Carlos Luna came in and struck out UTSA’s Powell to end the rally.

--ORU--

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