CEDAR CITY, Utah – Carlos Luna threw a complete-game gem in the first game and Oral Roberts University hit seven home runs as the Golden Eagles swept Southern Utah, 7-0, 15-8, Friday at Thunderbird Park.
No. 30 ORU improved to 31-10 overall and 13-2 in league play while Southern Utah is now 22-18 on the year and 9-5 in The Summit League.
Behind a complete-game shutout performance from Luna and two RBI each by David Genao and Martinez the Golden Eagles won the first game of the twin bill, 7-0.
ORU was able to get on the scoreboard first in the third inning after Martinez slugged a two-run home run over the fence in left center. Martinez’s fourth home run of the season plated Adam Younger, who reached base on a single to right field. Consecutive doubles to the gap in right center by Ben Petralli and Brian Van Kirk extended ORU’s lead to 3-0.
The Golden Eagles increased their lead in the fifth inning to 5-0. With one out on the board, SUU’s Alec Reichle walked Petralli then Van Kirk powered a double down the left field line to put runners on second and third. Genao followed by bringing in the two runs with a single to left field.
Notaro belted the first pitch from SUU’s reliever David Thompson over the right field fence for his second home of the season, giving the Golden Eagles a 6-0 advantage.
Brendan Duffy scored on a wild pitch by Southern Utah’s Ray Wright for an insurance run in the top of the ninth as ORU led 7-0.
Luna (9-0) kept the Southern Utah offense at bay by allowing just three hits while matching his career-high with 11 strikeouts in nine innings of scoreless work. At one point, the right-hander retired 11 straight Thunderbirds while the hurler recorded his second consecutive complete game shutout.
Petralli went 1-for-2 with two runs to extend his season-long hitting streak to 18 games. ORU out-hit Southern Utah, 12-3 with nine different Golden Eagles recording a hit.
The Golden Eagles got a RBI double by Van Kirk and a two-run home run from Notaro as ORU grabbed an early 3-0 lead in the first inning.
Southern Utah got a run back in the home side of the first when Keli’i Zablan powered a Jerry Sullivan (5-2) pitch over the left field fence.
The Golden Eagles countered in the third inning when Kelly Minissale led off with a double down the right field line. The hot swinging Notaro plated Minissale on a single to the gap in right center for a 4-0 ORU lead.
Martinez connected on a Kyle Melling pitch in the top of the fourth for a three-run home run. His second long ball of the day scored Johnny Roberts and Younger. ORU added another run in the inning when Van Kirk hit a single up the middle, scoring Duffy as ORU led 8-1.
Southern Utah punched across five runs in the bottom of the fourth to cut into ORU’s lead.
Martinez hit his second home run of the game – third of the day – in the fifth inning. The two-run shot scored Pat Murray as ORU led 10-6.
The Golden Eagles doubled up the Thunderbirds, 12-6, in the top of the sixth when Younger belted a two-run home run.
ORU scored three more runs in the top of the seventh for a 15-7 lead. Notaro collected an RBI that scored Justin Mitchell and Genao slugged an opposite field two-run home run in the inning.
Sullivan lasted six innings, allowing 12 hits, seven runs while striking out seven in an winning effort.
Oral Roberts and Southern Utah conclude their series on Saturday. First pitch is slated to start at 3 p.m. central time.