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Bullpen Leads ORU to Series-Opening Win over South Dakota State, 4-2

Courtesy: ORU Media Relations
          Release: 05/13/2011
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TULSA—Joe Spring struck out six over 4.1 shutout innings of relief to help lead Oral Roberts to a 4-2 win over Summit League foe South Dakota State, Friday at J.L. Johnson Stadium.

The win pulled the Golden Eagles (27-18 overall, 15-6 Summit) within one game of the league-leading Jackrabbits (31-14, 16-5) with three games remaining in the series. ORU is now a season-best nine games over the .500 mark.

Spring (4-1) came for an ineffective Drew Bowen to start the fourth. Bowen scuffled during his three innings of work, allowing two runs on three hits and four walks. Spring gave up a pair of singles in the fourth and two more hits in the fifth, but didn’t allow a hit the rest of the way. He struck out the side in the seventh and left after whiffing Daniel Marra to start the eighth.

ORU grabbed an early 1-0 lead on Cam Schiller’s RBI single in the bottom of the first.

South Dakota State came right back in the top of the second. ORU starting pitcher Drew Bowen loaded the bases with none out and hit Marra to force in a run and tie the game at 1-1. Beau Hanowski followed with a sacrifice fly to give the Jackrabbits a 2-1 lead.

The Golden Eagles regained the lead in the fourth. Schiller led off with a single and scored the tying run when Jared Schlehuber followed with an opposite field double. Bennett Pickar plated Schlehuber two batters later when he doubled just inside the third base bag, giving ORU a 3-2 edge.

The Golden Eagles got some help from SDSU’s defense to score their next run. With the bases loaded and one out, Schlehuber lined out to Jacks starting pitcher Stephen Bougher (4-4) for the second out. Bougher tried to double up Chris Elder at first base, but threw wildly for an error, allowing Joey Winiecki to score from third and make it 4-2.

Spring, Lars Liguori and Matt Rush held the Summit League’s top offense in check the rest of the way. With back-to-back left-hande hitters due up, Liguori relieved Spring with one out in the eighth and promptly induced consecutive groundouts from Hanowski and Billy Stitz.

Rush tossed a 1-2-3 ninth inning, needing only 14 pitches to record his league-leading ninth save.

The Golden Eagles were limited to just six hits. Schiller was 2-for-4 with an RBI to lead the way.

ORU and SDSU resume their four-game series with a 2 p.m., Saturday, doubleheader.

Oral Roberts 4, South Dakota State 2 (May 13, 2011 at Tulsa, Okla.)
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South Dakota State.. 020 000 000  -  2  8  1      (31-14, 16-5 Summit)
Oral Roberts........ 100 210 00X  -  4  6  0      (27-18, 15-6 Summit)
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Pitchers: South Dakota State - Stephen Bougher; Austin Busse(6) and Zach Briggs; Nick Andrews.
Oral Roberts - Drew Bowen; Joe Spring(4); Lars Liguori(8); Matt Rush(9) and Bennett Pickar.
Win-Joe Spring(4-1)  Save-Matt Rush(9)  Loss-Stephen Bougher(4-4)  T-2:37  A-501
Game: 45SDSU



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