A five-run third inning broke the game open and Oral Roberts finished the job with a 10-0 run-rule victory, Saturday at J.L. Johnson Stadium. The win clinched the outright Summit League Regular Season Championship for ORU on senior day, and the number one seed in the upcoming 2012 Summit League Baseball Championship, presented by Currington Mortgage.
With 17 hits on the day, everyone who came to the plate had at least one hit, for ORU (33-22, 17-6), including seven starters with two hits. Jared Schlehuber scored a team-high three runs, and had two RBI, as did Kevin Cho. Alex Gonzalez went the distance on the mound with his second complete game of the season. He struck out eight and walked just one while allowing three hits in eight innings of work.
For NDSU (38-18, 14-10), starter Zach Wentz took the loss after going just 2.1 innings and getting hit with six runs. Combined between four pitchers, they struck out just three ORU batters all game. Nick Colwell, Wes Satzinger and Max Casper registered one hit apiece for the Bison, who will be the #3 seed in the upcoming tournament.
A Jose Trevino single down the left field line scored Logan Domenico in the first to give ORU an early lead. The Golden Eagles loaded the bases, and used a hit-and-run, two stolen bases by Cho, and five singles in the inning to plate five in the bottom of the third, more than enough insurance for Gonzalez's outstanding pitching performance.
After a throwing error put Schlehuber on second with one out in the sixth, he scored on a Cho single to centerfield made it 7-0, and put thoughts of the run-rule in the air.
Those thoughts became a reality in the eighth inning, as again with one out the Golden Eagles mounted a rally. Already with three hits, two runs across and the bases loaded, Chris Williams had a walk-off pinch hit single down the left field line to score Bennett Pickar from third, ending the game at 10-0.
The 2012 Summit League Baseball Championship, presented by Currington Mortgage begins on Thursday with #3 NDSU and #2 Oakland at 3:30 p.m. at J.L. Johnson Stadium. The top-ranked Golden Eagles will face #4 Southern Utah at 7 p.m. that night.