Jared Schlehuber drove in seven runs to lead Oral Roberts to a doubleheader sweep of South Dakota State in Summit League baseball action Saturday afternoon at Erv Huether Field.
With victories of 9-3 and 7-6, the Golden Eagles improved to 24-19 overall and 11-3 in league play. In losing their eighth and ninth consecutive league games, SDSU dropped to 13-27-1 overall and 2-9 in The Summit League.
In the opener, Oral Roberts scored nine consecutive runs en route to the 9-3 victory. SDSU opened the scoring in the third inning as Andrew Melton doubled and Beau Hanowski followed with a single up the middle.
After holding ORU scoreless through the first four innings, Jackrabbit starter Adam Bray ran into trouble in the fifth. The Golden Eagles sent 10 men to the plate in the inning, scoring six times. ORU tied the game on a groundout and took the lead on a Jackrabbit error. After a sacrifice bunt, the next four Golden Eagle batters delivered run-scoring hits against Bray, including an RBI double by Jose Trevino and a two-run single by Schlehuber.
ORU tacked on three more runs in the sixth inning with the aid of two more Jackrabbit errors, highlighted by Schlehuber's second two-run single of the game.
Bennett Pickar was 4-for-5 to lead ORU's 14-hit attack. Melton was 3-for-4 as SDSU finished with nine hits.
Golden Eagle starter Kurt Giller gave up one run on five hits in six innings. He struck out six and walked three.
Bray struck out five and walked one in 5 1/3 innings. Freshman left-hander Ty Walker pitched 3 2/3 inning of scoreless ball in relief, striking out one and walking one.
In Game 2, freshman Logan Domenico made the defensive play of the game and drove in the game-winning run as ORU finished off the sweep with a 7-6 victory.
With the help of a Jackrabbit throwing error on a bunt play, ORU scored three times in the second inning. After Schlehuber scored on the error, Nate Goro delivered a sacrifice fly and Kevin Cho delivered a run scoring single.
SDSU came back with nearly an identical inning in the home half of the third against Golden Eagle ace Alex Gonzalez in the home half of the third. Melton led off with a walk, moved to second on a base hit by Hanowski and scored when Gonzalez made an errant throw on a sacrifice bunt by Zach Rhodes. The other two runs of the inning scored on groundouts by Phil Paquette and Cain.
Schlehuber delivered a two-run single in the top of the fourth, but SDSU came back to tie the game at 5-all in the bottom half of the frame on a two-run double to center field by Hanowski that scored Daniel Marra and Melton, knocking out Gonzalez.
Pinch-hitter Aaron Machbitz gave SDSU a 6-5 lead in the bottom of the fifth with a double to left field off reliever Joe Spring that scored Paquette, but Schlehuber again tied the game in the top of the sixth with a double of his own that scored Domenico.
The Jackrabbits had a chance to take the lead in the sixth inning after singles by Marra and Hanowski put runners at the corners with one out. However, Zach Rhodes hit a fly ball to shallow right field that Domenico caught and then threw a strike to the plate to cut down Marra for an inning-ending double play.
Domenico's game-winning hit came with two outs in the top of the seventh inning. Brandon Healy led off the inning against Jackrabbit reliever Austin Busse with a base hit, moved to second on a sacrifice and took third on Goro's single to center field. After Busse got Cho to pop out on a bunt attempt, Domenico lined a single through the right side to plate Healy.
Joe Spring pitched a perfect bottom of the seventh to complete the victory for ORU.
Domenico and Schlehuber each tallied three of the Golden Eagles' 14 hits. Hanowski went 3-for-4 to lead SDSU at the plate.
The two teams are slated to play the series finale at 1 p.m. Sunday.
Game 1: ORAL ROBERTS 9, SOUTH DAKOTA STATE 3
ORU 000 063 000 9-14-1
SDSU 001 000 200 3-9-3
ORU: Kurt Giller, Matt Rush (7), Lars Liguori (8) and Bennett Pickar. SDSU: Adam Bray, Ty Walker (6) and Nick Andrews.
W-Giller (4-4). L-Bray (2-3). Save-none.
Game 2: ORAL ROBERTS 7, SOUTH DAKOTA STATE 6
ORU 030 201 1 7-14-1
SDSU 003 210 0 6-7-1
ORU: Alex Gonzalez, Lars Liguori (4), Joe Spring (5) and Bennett Pickar. SDSU: Kolton Emery, Austin Busse (4) and Nick Andrews.
W-Spring (3-1). L-Busse (2-4). Save-none.