TULSA-Oral Roberts broke open a one run game by scoring seven runs in the bottom of the eighth on its way to a 12-4 win over North Dakota, Friday at J.L. Johnson Stadium.
Clinging to a 5-4 lead, ORU (8-10) sent 12 batters to the plate in the eighth. ORU loaded the bases with two outs on an error and a pair of walks, and the next seven batters reached base. Tyler Saladino , Robert Barbosa, P.J. Sequeiraand Justin Mitchell each knocked in runs with Barbosa driving in three on a double. Another run scored on a passed ball, and ORU led 12-4.
Spencer Roberts set down the Fighting Sioux (1-10) in order in the ninth to close it out.
The Golden Eagles grabbed an early 1-0 lead when Nick Baligod knocked in Bennett Pickar with an infield single in the third inning. ORU stretched the lead to 3-0 with a pair of runs in the fourth on a base loaded walk and an error by the left fielder.
North Dakota got on the board in the top of the sixth without benefit of a hit. With one out ORU starter Drew Bowen (2-2) walked two batters. Colby Price misplayed a groundball for the Fighting Sioux’s first run, and Jake Magner’s sacrifice fly two batters later made it 3-2.
ORU extended its lead to 5-2 on Chris Elder‘s two-run double in the bottom of the sixth, but North Dakota scored two of its own in the top of the seventh. Back-to-back RBI single by Jabby Bakhit and Josh Lagein helped trim ORU’s lead to 5-4.
Baligod’s strong defensive play helped ORU keep the lead when North Dakota threatened in the top of the eighth. With runners on first and second, UND’s Josh Lay laced a single to right and Baligod threw out Ridge Halenar at home to preserve the lead.
The Golden Eagles finished with 14 hits, including two each by Winiecki, Baligod, Sequeira and Pickar. Elder knocked in three runs and three players scored twice.
Bowen earned the victory despite a somewhat shaky outing. The sophomore right-hander allowed two runs (one earned) without allowing a hit in 5.2 innings. But he walked four and threw a wild pitch, and left the game after throwing 87 pitches.
North Dakota used five pitchers, including four during the seven-run eighth. Derek Biermaier (0-4) took the loss by allowing five runs in 5.1 innings.
The Golden Eagles and Fighting Sioux continue their three-game series at 2 p.m., Saturday.