Score: Oral Roberts 4 - North Dakota State 3
Records: ORU (26-15, 15-6) - NDSU (23-19, 9-12)
Location: Newman Outdoor Stadium - Fargo, N.D.
Box Score (PDF)
FARGO, N.D. - North Dakota State made it interesting, scoring two runs in the ninth, but the Oral Roberts baseball team was able to salvage the series finale of the three-game set Sunday afternoon, 4-3, at Newman Outdoor Stadium.
Center fielder Nick Rotola led the way going 3-for-5 and adding three RBI to secure the Golden Eagles' only win of the weekend in Fargo. Owasso, Oklahoma product Trevor McCutchin finished 2-for-3 with a double and a run scored in his seventh start of the season.
Both teams' bats were held at bay for the majority of the day as each teams starter went four shutout innings. The Golden Eagles (26-15, 15-6) broke into the run column in the fifth inning though after McCutchin put himself in scoring position with a one-out double to the gap. Chase Stafford reached base in the next at bat after being hit by a pitch for the third time this weekend.
Rotola, a Wichita, Kansas native, would drive in both McCutchin and Stafford with two outs as he doubled to right-center for two of his three RBI on the day.
The Bison (23-19, 9-12) answered the call in the bottom half of the inning with a run of their own after Danny Regan led off the frame with a single. He would later score on a sacrifice fly to cut the ORU lead in half.
A leadoff walk from sophomore Matt Whatley in the seventh would pay off after Brent Williams added to his team-leading RBI count with a single to center field to push the Golden Eagle lead back to two runs.
Oral Roberts collected what would become a very important insurance run in the eighth when Rotola sent a chopper to the left side that would bounce over the shortstops head for an RBI single.
With two runners on and two outs in the bottom of the eighth, second baseman Nick Roark saved at least one run with a spectacular diving stop on a ball sent to the middle of the infield.
North Dakota State made it interesting in the ninth after closer Brady Womacks came in to close the door. The Bison went for three consecutive hits and pushed two runs across the plate before the Golden Eagles were finally able to stop the bleeding and secure the victory.
- With the win, ORU now holds a 24-10 lead in the all-time series.
- ORU outhit the Bison on the day, 10-9, improving to 18-4 when outhitting their opponent.
- Nick Rotola led the way offensively going 3-for-5 with three RBI. Freshman Trevor McCutchin finished 2-for-3 with a double and a run scored in his seventh start of the season. Matt Whatley scored a run, finishing 1-for-4 with a walk.
- Josh McMinn (5-2) earned his fifth win of the season in relief, going three innings and allowing just two base hits while striking out two.
- Brady Womacks tallied his eighth save this season.
- Cale Tims went four and a third innings, allowing four hits and one run in his outing. Nathan Gara finished off the Bison in the eighth ining, striking out one in two-thirds of an inning of work.
- Jordan Harms is charged with the loss after giving up three runs in five and third innings. He falls to 1-2 on the year.
- The Golden Eagles did not commit and error for the first time this weekend.
- Each game this weekend finished with a final score of 4-3.
The Golden Eagles will wrap up a seven-game road stretch as they travel to Norman for a midweek matchup with the Sooners on Tuesday. First pitch is scheduled for 6 p.m. from L. Dale Mitchell Park.
For the latest information on ORU baseball, follow @ORUBaseball on Twitter or go towww.ORUAthletics.com. Fans can also receive updates on the team by downloading the Golden Eagles Front Row App at ORUAthletics.com/frontrow or in the App Store.