The Golden Eagles won despite leaving 15 runners on base. Bethune-Cookman wasn’t much better, stranding 12 base runners.
ORU (7-5) started the scoring in the first whenNick Baligod scored from third on a two-out error by Wildcats pitcher Scott Garner, giving the Golden Eagles a 1-0 lead.
The Wildcats (8-10) tied it a 1-1 in the top of the second on an RBI single by Alejandro Sanchez.
Baligod gave the Golden Eagles a 2-1 lead when he led off the third inning with a solo home run, his first of the season. Brandon King and Chris Elder followed Baligod’s home run with consecutive doubles and King, who stopped at third on Elder’s hit, eventually scored on a wild pitch to give ORU a 3-1 lead.
King gave ORU a 4-1 lead in the fourth when he plated Joey Winiecki with a groundout to first.
Bethune-Cookman made it a 4-2 game in the fifth when Emmanuel Castro knocked in a run with a groundout.
Both teams mounted threats in the middle innings but couldn’t convert. ORU left two runners on in the bottom of the fifth and left the bases loaded in the sixth, while the Wildcats left two on in the sixth and failed to score after loading the bases in the eighth.
The Wildcats made it interesting in the ninth. After Lars Liguori retired Matt Wright to start the inning, Matt Rush relieved and immediately ran into trouble. Ryan Durrence doubled to left and scored two batters later on a double by Castro. But with the tying run at second, Rush retired D.J. Leonard on a grounder to second to end the game.
Bryce Smolen (2-1) picked up the win with five solid innings of work in his third start of the season. The senior right-hander allowed two runs on seven hits while striking out four batters. Rush picked up his second save of the season.
Garner (2-1) suffered the loss for B-CU.