Golden Eagles Split Doubleheader, Series at North Dakota State
The Golden Eagles (19-16, 8-4) split the four-game series with the Bison (11-20, 8-4) and the teams remain tied for second in the Summit League standings.
In game one, North Dakota State took advantage of three ORU errors to score four unearned runs and pull out the victory.
North Dakota State took an early 1-0 lead in the bottom of the third when Nick Colwell’s RBI bunt single scored Tyler Steen. Steen scored only after Spencer Barnett dropped a throw from pitcher Mark Guest, who was trying to force Steen at second on a bunt attempt by Blake Turbak. ORU tied the game in the top of the fourth on a solo home run by Chris Elder.
The Bison answered in the bottom of the fourth, regaining the lead on an RBI double by Zach Wentz to give NDSU a 2-1 lead. Nic Obey’s two-out sacrifice fly in the fifth made it 3-1, but the run scored only after first baseman Brandon Healy’s fielding error one batter earlier. The Bison scored twice in the sixth for a 5-1 lead, thanks in part to a one-out error by shortstop Cam Schiller.
Elder pulled the Golden Eagles to within 5-3 with his second homer of the day, a two-out, two-run shot in the top of the eighth.
ORU put two runners on with one out in the top of the ninth, but pinch hitter Brett Burch struck out swinging and Brandon King field out to center to end the threat and the game.
Reliever Joe Spring (2-1) suffered the loss for ORU, allowing two runs (one earned) in 2.1 innings. Elder finished the game 2-for-3 with three RBI. Luke Anderson (2-1) earned the win for NDSU, allowing three runs in 7.2 innings.
Game two saw ORU take an early 1-0 lead when Elder cranked a solo home run, his third of the day, in the top of the first.
North Dakota State battled back with three runs in the bottom of the second off ORU starter Alex Gonzalez (4-5). Wes Satzinger laced a two-run double and Zach Wentz followed with his own run-scoring double as the Bison took a 3-1 lead.
The Golden Eagles rebounded in the top of the fourth with four runs. Bennett Pickar smacked a two-run double and Schiller ripped a two-run single to give ORU a 5-3 advantage.
ORU broke the game open in the top of the seventh. Schiller connected for a run-scoring double to make it 6-3, and Schiller later scored on a failed pickoff attempt to give ORU a 7-3 edge.
Graham McIntyre singled home a run for an 8-3 lead and Pickar added a run-scoring single of his own to make it 9-3. Healy knocked in a run with a fielder’s choice, and Baligod capped the scoring with an RBI single as ORU went up, 11-3.
North Dakota State added its final run in the bottom of the seventh.
Gonzalez picked up the win after allowing three runs on five hits in five innings. Matt Rush worked the final two innings to earn his sixth save.
Schiller led ORU in game two with three hits and three RBI. Baligod, King, Pickar and T.J. Bennett each had two hits for the Golden Eagles.
ORU returns to action when it hosts a four-game Summit League series with IPFW, beginning 6:30 p.m., Friday at J.L. Johnson Stadium.