Burleson's Gem Leads ORU over No. 30 Shockers, 8-1
TULSA-Jeff Burleson tossed a complete game and Oral Roberts continued its recent mastery of No. 30 Wichita State in an 8-1 victory over the Shockers, Wednesday at J.L. Johnson Stadium.
The Golden Eagles (7-10) won for the 11th time in 14 games against the Shockers (11-7), sweeping the two-game midweek series on the strength of starting pitching. Burleson matched Seth Furmanek's complete game effort from Tuesday's 7-1 victory.
Making just his second start of the season, Burleson (2-2) allowed just five hits and struck out seven without a walk. After allowing two singles in the game's first four batters, Burleson set down 19 of the next 21 hitters through the seventh inning.
After squandering scoring opportunities in the first and third innings, the Golden Eagles got on the scoreboard in the fourth. Colby Price knocked in Chris Elder with a two-out single to give ORU a 1-0 lead.
Elder gave the Golden Eagles some breathing room in the sixth when he banged a two-run home run just over the left field wall and barely inside the foul pole, scoring Tyler Saladino for a 3-0 lead.
Wichita State finally got to Burleson in the eighth, but the right-hander did a nice job of limiting the damage. Chris O'Brien led off with a single and Kevin Hall followed with an infield single off Burleson's glove. A sacrifice bunt moved the runners up a base and an RBI ground out Erik Harbutz made it a 3-1 game. But Burleson escaped further damage when he induced an inning-ending ground out from Preston Springer.
ORU put the game away with five runs in the bottom of the eighth. P.J. Sequeira led off with a double and scored two batters later on an RBI single by Price. Saladino knocked in Price two batters later with a sacrifice fly. Tyler Garewal later drew a bases-loaded walk for a 6-1 ORU lead and two more runs scored on an error by Wichita State shortstop Tyler Grimes.
The Golden Eagles collected 11 hits, including two each by Saladino, Elder, Sequeira, Price and Nick Baligod. Elder and Price each drove in two.
Wichita State starter Josh Smith (2-2) suffered the loss for the Shockers, allowing two runs on six hits over four innings. WSU used six pitchers overall, including four during the five-run eighth.
The Golden Eagles host North Dakota in a three-game series beginning 7 p.m., Friday at J.L. Johnson Stadium.