Score: Western Illinois 2 – Oral Roberts 19 (7 innings)
Records: WIU (10-23, 7-8 Summit League) – ORU (24-15, 14-5 Summit League)
Location: Tulsa, Okla. (J.L. Johnson Stadium)
TULSA, Okla. – The Oral Roberts baseball team used an offensive explosion to post a 19-2 victory over Western Illinois Friday night at J.L. Johnson Stadium highlighted by three-run home runs in the third inning by Spencer Henson and Harrison Smith.
The Golden Eagles totaled 16 hits in the seven-inning, run-rule decision for a season-high 19 runs aided by eight walks. Ten different players registered at least one hit for the night getting multi-hit efforts from five players, including a perfect 3-for-3 day by Cal Hernandez, who was not retired in five plate appearances.
The first four batters reached safely in each of the first three innings as ORU posted five runs in the first inning to break open the game. It added four in the second before an eight-run third put the contest out of reach.
Quote of the Day
"We came out and established the tempo early in the game. We knew this was a club that you have to do a good job with their starters. You have to run their pitch count up and you have to do some things to try to get their bullpen extended, and those guys at the top of our order were really good doing that." – Head Coach Ryan Folmar
ORU took advantage of a rocky start from the Western Illinois pitcher as Nick Roark was hit-by-pitch to open the game. Hernandez and Noah Cummings walked to load the bases before Henson brought home the first run on another free pass without an out being recorded. Nick Rotola lined a one-out single to center field that got away from the Leathernecks' fielder allowing the bases to clear. Daniel Kloehr delivered a pinch-hit RBI double plating Rotola pushing the Golden Eagles to a 5-0 advantage in the first inning.
Inside the Box Score
- Hernandez scored a run in each of the first four innings matching his career best totaling four runs. He tallied a RBI double in the second frame and reached base five times on three hits and two walks.
- Henson moved one home run shy of The Summit League lead blasting his sixth of the campaign, and second in as many games, finishing with four RBI to tie his career best. The sophomore also drew two walks and scored a career-high three times.
- With a three-RBI performance, Noah Cummings moved into fourth place on the all-time RBI list with 187 in his tenure. The Alpine, California, native closed the game 2-for-2 and added two walks and three runs scored.
- Roark, Riley Keizor and Smith each finished with multi-hit performances and six combined runs helped by Smith's first home run of the season in the eight-run third inning.
- Kloehr tallied his first-collegiate, extra-base hit with his RBI double in the first inning. Alex Schmitz added a pinch-hit single and scored in the sixth, while Luke Preaus drew a bases-loaded walk in the same inning for his first RBI as a Golden Eagle.
- Josh McMinn was in command all evening and picked up his second win of the season allowing one run on three hits over four innings. He struck out four and did not issue a walk in the outing.
- The Golden Eagles scored 19 runs for the first time since reaching the mark April 10, 2015 at Western Illinois.
The Golden Eagles and Leathernecks continue the weekend set Saturday afternoon with game two of the series at 2 p.m. Catch all the action live on the ORU Sports Network with free video, audio and statistics.
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