HUNTSVILLE, Texas – A big first inning helped the Oral Roberts baseball team on Friday evening as the Golden Eagles rolled over Sam Houston State, 8-4.
ORU moved its record above .500 in conference play to 7-6 and 12-23 overall, while the Bearkats fell to 22-16 and 8-5 in conference action.
The Golden Eagles scored six runs on just three hits and drew five free passes in the top of the first. It tied a season high for runs scored in an inning, also doing so exactly a month ago at Oklahoma.
Alex Gonzalez had eight strikeouts in the victory, going eight complete innings and giving up just one earned run despite being charged with all four Bearkat runs.
Kevin Cho and Logan Domenico, who both reached with walks, moved into scoring position on a wild pitch with one-out. That set up Jose Trevino who picked up his first hit of the ball game with a single up left to score Cho.
Trevino later doubled off the wall in the top of the fourth, but was thrown out at third trying to stretch it into a triple. He was the only Golden Eagle to record multiple hits in the game.
After Trevino’s single in the first, Tyler Boss was plunked in the elbow by a pitch to load the bases, which was followed by a single through the right side of the infield by Nate Goro to plate Domenico. Chris Williams then drew a four-pitch bases loaded walk to push across Trevino.
Then the Golden Eagles got fancy as Graham McIntyre laid down a suicide squeeze bunt with Boss sprinting down the line. Boss beat out the toss to the plate for the fourth run of the inning.
ORU got back to the top of the lineup in the inning. Cho took advantage of his second chance at the plate with a single to center to drive in Williams and McIntyre.
Cho finished the game with a hit, scored and had two runs batted in.
McIntyre crossed the plate again in the top of the third after he beat out a double play attempt earlier in the inning. With McIntyre on base, Austen Colt singled to right on a pop fly that dropped just past first. The ball stayed aloft long enough for McIntyre to score from first.
Colt then stole second base just before Cho hit a grounder that went underneath the second baseman’s glove, allowing Colt to score.
In the bottom of the fourth, the Bearkats began to cut into the Golden Eagle lead. Looking up at the visitors, 8-0, SHSU scored two runs on two hits and one ORU error.
Carter Burgess started the inning with a single into the hole between short and third and advanced to second as Kevin Miller reached on a misplayed ground ball. Both runners advanced 90-feet on a groundout to move into scoring position.
With one-out, Burgess was driven in on a sacrifice fly off the bat of Luke Plucheck and Miller scored from second on a single up the middle by Ryan O’Hearn.
After the Golden Eagles were sat down in order in the top of the fifth, the Bearkats added their third run of the game. Miller, who ended with a three hit ball game, singled to left to score Colt Atwood.
Despite the eight runs in the game, the Golden Eagles were outhit by the Bearkats, 10 to seven.
Game two of the three-game set is schedule for 4 p.m. on Saturday.