ARLINGTON, Texas-Small ball and a strong relief effort helped Oral Roberts snap its three-game losing with a 7-4 win over Texas-Arlington, Tuesday at Clay Gould Ballpark.
The Golden Eagles (12-13) used three bunt base hits, three sacrifice bunts and three run-scoring groundouts to break out of their offensive slump. Relievers Spencer Roberts, Sean Johnson (1-0) and Jeff Burleson (2nd save) combined to allow just one run and two hits in five innings.
ORU opened the scoring in the top of the second when Chris Elder launched a solo home run to give ORU a 1-0 lead.
The Mavericks (14-15) responded with a pair of runs in the bottom of the inning when Cody Dyvig laced a two-out, two-run single to give UTA a 2-1 lead.
An RBI groundout by ORU's Nick Baligod tied in it in the top of the third, but the Mavericks regained the lead i9n the bottom half of the inning when Michael Choice knocked in a run with an groundout of his own, making it a 3-2 game.
Again ORU came back, manufacturing a run in the fourth. Elder led off with a double, moved to third on a fly out by P.J. Sequeira and scored on a groundout by Brett Sowers as the Golden Eagles tied the game at 3-3.
ORU finally put a crooked number on the board in the fifth. Colby Price led off with a single, moved to second on a sacrifice bunt and scored two batters later on an infield single by Baligod for a 4-3 lead. Tyler Saladino, who reached on a bunt single with Price on base, stole third and scored on an errant throw by UTA catcher Chad Comer, giving ORU a 5-3 lead.
Sequeira made not only perhaps the defensive play of the year for ORU in the bottom of the fifth, but also kept the Golden Eagles on top. With two out and runners at second and third, the senior first baseman laid out to snare a sharp grounder by Steffan Guest to end the inning and keep ORU on top.
Baligod knocked in his third run of the game in the top of the seventh when his grounder to second scored Winiecki for a 6-3 lead.
The Mavericks made it a 6-4 game in the bottom of the eighth, getting a run on a two-out error by second baseman Price.
ORU quickly got the run back in the top of the ninth. Bennett Pickar reached on an error to start the inning and moved to second on a sacrifice by Price. Winiecki slapped a single to right, scoring Pickar for a 7-4 lead.
Johnson tossed three innings in relief, allowing an unearned run on two hits to earn his first victory. Johnson struck out four without a walk. Mark Guest started the game for ORU and allowed three runs on four hits in 4.0 innings.
Winiecki had three hits to lead ORU, while Saladino, Elder and Price each collected two hits as part of ORU's 11-hit attack.
Mark Picca (1-3) allowed three runs in two innings of relief to pick up the loss for UTA.
The Golden Eagles open Summit League play when they host Oakland for a four-game weekend series, beginning 7 p.m., Friday at J.L. Johnson Stadium.