Oral Roberts sweeps four-game series from South Dakota State

Dennis Hubbard photo

TULSA, Okla. – Oral Roberts starting pitcher Matt Gaskins faced the minimum number of batters in his six innings of work and the Golden Eagles raced out to an early lead to complete a Summit League baseball series sweep of South Dakota State, 9-0, Sunday afternoon at J.L. Johnson Stadium.

League-leading ORU improved to 20-18 overall and 11-4 in the Summit. SDSU dropped to 11-25 overall and 6-14 in league play.

Ryan Cash recorded the first of his three runs batted in on the afternoon with a first-inning double that scored Jake McMurray. ORU added three more runs in the second inning to knock out Jackrabbit starter Drew Beazley, with Adam Oviedo and Anthony Martinez hitting back-to-back run-scoring doubles before Cash plated the finale run of the frame on a fielders choice that resulted in an SDSU error.

Gaskins, meanwhile, allowed only two hits in his six shutout innings, but both Jess Bellows in the first inning and Colton Cox in the sixth were erased on the base paths on double plays. Gaskins finished with nine strikeouts, while four Golden Eagle relievers combined to toss three more shutout innings.

ORU put the game away with a four-run fourth inning that was aided by another Jackrabbit error and featured Cash’s second RBI double of the game. Blake Hall drove in the final two runs of the inning with a single to left field.

SDSU loaded the bases in the seventh on a single by Luke Ira and walks to Ryan McDonald and Derek Hackman, but did not score.

McMurray, Cash and Martinez each tallied two of ORU’s 11 hits.

Saturday

Game 1

 ORU 6, SDSU 2

The Golden Eagles’ Jake McMurray continued his hot hitting in the series by driving in three runs on a pair of two-out hits.

McMurray’s two-out single in the fifth inning gave ORU a 2-1 lead and his two-run double in the seventh extended the Golden Eagles’ lead to 4-1.

SDSU countered with a run in the eighth inning as Ryan McDonald scored on a bunt single by Drew Beazley. It was the third hit of the game for Beazley, who finished the game 3-for-4 and scored SDSU’s first run of the game after recording a leadoff double in the second inning.

However, the Jackrabbits left the bases loaded in the eighth, ending the frame with a strikeout and groundout.

ORU then put the game out of reach with two runs against the Jackrabbit bullpen in the eighth, aided by an error and two hit batters.

SDSU starter Cody Carlson pitched well over seven innings. The left-hander struck out two and walked two while allowing four runs on eight hits.

ORU starter Evan Kowalski struck out six over five innings in which he gave up one run on three hits. Cade Denton and Adam Scoggins each struck out three in their relief outings, with Scoggins earning the save.

Joshua Cox and Blake Hall also tallied two of the Golden Eagles’ 10 hits.

Jamie Berg collected two of SDSU’s seven hits in the contest.

Game 2

• ORU 1, SDSU 0

Caleb Denny delivered the game’s lone run with a single up the middle with two outs in the bottom of the sixth inning and Isaac Coffey pitched a complete-game four-hit shutout in the seven-inning nightcap.

Cox started the rally for the Golden Eagles with an infield single and moved to second base on a sacrifice bunt by McMurray before Denny’s base hit.

SDSU missed out on a golden opportunity to tie the game or take the lead in the top of the seventh. Ryan McDonald led off the inning by being hit by a pitch. Pinch-runner Colton Cox moved to third base when the next batter, Derek Hackman, lined a single to right-center field, with Hackman taking second on a misplay in the outfield. However, Coffey was able to work out of the jam for ORU by retiring the next three Jackrabbit batters on two popouts and a strikeout to end the game.

Coffey struck out seven and did not walk a batter.

Jackrabbit starter Owen Bishop was nearly equal to the task as the freshman right-hander posted his best collegiate outing, also striking out seven and walking only one in a complete-game effort.

Denny was the lone player from either squad with more than one hit, recording hits in each of his last two at-bats. Both SDSU and ORU finished with four hits.

Friday

 ORU 14, SDSU 4 (8 inn.)

Adam Oviedo drove in five runs and Jake McMurray added five hits and four runs scored for an Oral Roberts squad that pulled away for a 14-4, eight-inning victory over South Dakota State in Summit League baseball action Friday night at J.L. Johnson Stadium.

After South Dakota State tied the game with a three-run top of the second, it was all Golden Eagles. ORU scored twice in the home half of the second on a sacrifice fly and Jackrabbit error.

The Golden Eagles pushed their lead to 6-3 on another sacrifice fly in the fourth before SDSU countered with a run in the seventh on an RBI single by Derek Hackman that plated Jess Bellows.

ORU put the game out of reach against the Jackrabbit bullpen in the seventh as Oviedo capped a five-run inning with a grand slam. The Golden Eagles then ended the game early due to the 10-run rule with three more runs in the eight, including the game-ending single by Oviedo.

McMurray started the Oral Roberts rally in the first inning with a base hit and scored on Caleb Denny’s base hit. Hunter Swift tallied a two-run single later in the frame.

The Jackrabbits tied the game with a three-run top of the second, loading the bases on two walks and a hit batter. Hackman scored on a wild pitch and Drew Beazley came across on an error, leading to an early exit for ORU starter Tanner Rogen. Bellows finished off the rally with a single that scored Jamie Berg.

Golden Eagle reliever Colten Weber settled in from there, pitching five shutout innings while striking out three and walking two.

Adam Mazur took the loss for the Jackrabbits, surrendering five earned runs on 10 hits in six innings. He struck out four and walked one.

ORU held a 16-4 advantage in hits, including a 4-for-4 effort by Ryan Cash.

UP NEXT

The Jackrabbits are off from competition until opening a four-game series May 14 with a doubleheader at North Dakota State.

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