Golden Eagles Close Series with 5-1 Win at Western Illinois
The victory gave ORU (17-13, 6-2 Summit) a split of the four-game series.
Western Illinois (11-24, 3-5) took a 1-0 lead in the second inning. Austin Cowen led off with a single and Bryan Jordan followed with a walk. The runners moved up on a passed ball and Cowen scored on Anthony Marcuzzo’s single to right field.
ORU tied the game in the top of the fourth. Brandon King opened the frame with a double off the base off the fence in right field. After a walk to Nick Baligod, both runners moved up on a slow groundout by Chris Elder. King scored the tying run on Cam Schiller’s sacrifice fly to center.
Schiller gave ORU a 2-1 lead when he led off the seventh with a solo home run, his first long ball of the season and ORU’s first in eight games.
Winiecki made a potentially game-saving play in the bottom of the seventh. With two on and two out, the senior centerfielder made a diving catch in the left-center field game, taking a sure RBI hit away from Matt Igara and keeping ORU on top.
The Golden Eagles gained some breathing room in the top of the eighth. Baligod gave ORU a 3-1 advantage with a two-out bloop infield RBI single and, after a pitching change, Elder doubled in Baligod for a 4-1 lead. ORU took a 5-1 lead when Elder scored on a two-out error at third by Marcuzzo.
Laris Liguori (1-1) earned his first win of the season with two strong inning of relief. The junior left-hander didn’t allow a hit and struck out four batters. He was the third of five pitchers for the Golden Eagles.
Alexander Zarate (1-3) suffered the loss for the Leathernecks, allowing four runs in 7.2 innings.
King led ORU with a 2-for-5 effort at the plate. Schiller knocked in a pair and reached base three times overall.
The Golden Eagles return to action when they host Arkansas, 6:30 p.m., Tuesday at J.L. Johnson Stadium.