ORU Drops Series Opener at No. 12 UCLA, 20-4
LOS ANGELES, Calif.-No. 12 UCLA pounded out 23 hits en route to a 20-4 win over Oral Roberts, Friday at Jackie Robinson Stadium.
The Golden Eagles (5-8) took their only lead of the game in the top of the first inning. Nick Baligod laced a one-out single and moved to third on a double by Tyler Saladino. Chris Elder knocked in Baligod with a grounder to second and ORU led, 1-0.
But the lead didn't last long. The Bruins (14-0) sent 14 men to the plate in the bottom of the first against ORU starter Drew Bowen (1-2). Tyler Rahmatulla's three-run home run highlighted the inning and when the dust settled, UCLA had a 9-1 lead.
Bowen faced four batters in the second inning, allowing a solo home run, walk, single and a hit batter before being replaced by Dan Martony, who got a double play ball and a ground out to end the inning. But by that time UCLA led, 11-1.
The Bruins tacked on five runs in the third against Martony, including a three-run homer by Dean Espy, as they surged to a 16-1 lead.
UCLA added a run in the fifth and three more in the second for a 20-1 lead before the Golden Eagles got on the board again. Justin Mitchell drilled a run-scoring single in the seventh, and Saladino belted his team-leading fifth home run of the season in the eighth to make it a 20-3 ballgame.
Saladino knocked in ORU's final run with a single in the top of the ninth.
The Golden Eagles managed just eight hits against three Bruins pitchers. Gerritt Cole (5-0), a 2008 first round draft pick, earned the victory for UCLA after allowing two runs on five hits in seven innings.
Saladino led ORU offensively, going 4-for-4 with two RBI. Mitchell also collected a pair of hits.
Bowen allowed 11 runs in his inning-plus of work, surrendering 10 hits. Martony gave up eight runs in five innings. Mike Torrence was the lone pitching bright spot for ORU, striking out four batters while tossing two shutout innings of relief.
The Golden Eagles and Bruins resume their three-game series at 4 p.m., Saturday.