Holding a 9-4 lead after seven innings, Oral Roberts blasted out 11 runs in the eighth to finish off Mississippi Valley State 20-4, completing the three-game sweep of the series, Sunday, at J.L. Johnson Stadium.
ORU (27-20) finished nonconference play with the three-game sweep, out-scoring MVSU (14-35) 28-5 in the final two games of the series. The Golden Eagles have won 10 of their last 12 contests, including a loss at #16 Arkansas.
Cam Schiller had four hits on the day to lead ORU, while Brandon King had six RBI and recorded his first triple of the year. Every ORU batter who recorded an official at bat had at least one hit on the day as the Golden Eagles fell one short of their season high in hits with 17 on Sunday. The 20 runs scored by ORU was the most since scoring 21 against South Dakota State on May 28, 2010 in the Summit League Tournament.
Kurt Giller (5-4) earned the victory on the mound for ORU, striking out four batters in five innings of work, giving up four runs. Mike Torrence and Tim ZuFall each pitched one inning of relief, and Matt Rush pitched a pair of innings, with the trio combining to give up just two hits and no runs in the final four innings of the game.
For the Delta Devils, Chris Broadway (3-6) took the loss and was charged with seven runs in 3.1 innings of work. Offensively for MVSU, Seth Milliorn had a pair of hits, and a pair of RBI to lead his team in each category.
Despite the lopsided outcome, it was the Delta Devils who struck first, as Michael Lowe reached after being hit on the hands in the first inning. Lowe stole second and scored on a two-out blooper to left field by Milliorn to give MVSU the early 1-0 lead.
It would not take long for the Golden Eagles to answer as Logan Domenico earned the walk, scoring two batters later after a pair of singles by Jose Trevino and Schiller to knot the game at 1-1. Despite going on to load the bases, ORU could not plate any more runs in the frame as a soft liner to second and ground ball to first ended the threat.
In the top of the third, MVSU put together a two-out rally, started by a Lowe double down the line. Milliorn again scored him to give the Delta Devils the lead back, but they weren't finished as Trey Lacy sent one into the left field corner for an RBI double to make it 3-1.
Immediately ORU found an answer, as a two-RBI double by King scored Schiller and Trevino. As the throw home came in high, King took third base, a move that paid off as he scored on Brandon Healy's single to center, giving ORU a 4-3 lead in the bottom of the third.
ORU added to its lead in the fourth when Domenico scored off a Schiller RBI single. A walk to Jared Schlehuber loaded the bases for the second time in the game, and a groundout and wild pitch allowed ORU to make it a 7-3 lead. Healy kept it going with an RBI single, putting four across the plate in the inning and making it an 8-3 advantage for the Golden Eagles.
Edmund Cheatham singled to lead off the fifth and after stealing second, a pair of ground balls worked him around for the score to cut into the ORU lead for the moment.
In the bottom of the sixth, ORU took advantage of a walk and an error to plate another run, making it a 9-4 advantage.
ORU was not done either, batting around the order in the bottom of the eighth, sending a total of 16 batters to the plate in the inning. Once the dust settled, it was 11 runs on seven hits for ORU, putting the Golden Eagles up 20-4 with three outs to go.
ZuFall was aided by a double-play to sit the Delta Devils down in order to clinch the blowout victory.
ORU will finish out the season with a pair of Summit League series, beginning with IPFW in Ft. Wayne, Ind., on May 11-13. They will then finish at home with a four-game set against North Dakota State May 17-19.
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