Score: North Dakota State 4 - Oral Roberts 3
Records: NDSU (22-18, 8-11) - ORU (25-14, 14-5)
Location: Newman Outdoor Stadium - Fargo, N.D.
Box Score (PDF)
FARGO, N.D. - Down two runs in the top of the ninth, Oral Roberts loaded the bases with no outs but was able to push across just one run before North Dakota State abruptly ended the rally to take the series opener, 4-3, at Newman Outdoor Stadium Friday night.
North Dakota State (22-18, 8-11) seemed to get things started on the right foot nearly every inning, putting their leadoff runner on base for each of the first five frames. It paid off especially in the second inning when the Golden Eagles defense misplayed three consecutive balls resulting in a trio of runs for the home Bison who tallied just one hit in the inning.
NDSU poked six base hits through the ORU defense against right-hander Bryce Howe who went four innings on the night. Howe, a Claremore, Oklahoma product, allowed four runs, but just one was earned while striking out three in the loss.
Freshman Korbin Polly was able to tame the Bison for much of his outing, notching a career high three innings of work and four strikeouts while allowing only one base hit.
Oral Roberts (25-14, 14-5) would begin chipping away at the lead in the sixth when sophomore Matt Whatley was able to reach on an error to start the frame. Colorado Springs, Colorado native Brent Williams would drive him in on a sacrifice fly to cut the deficit to three runs.
Bakersfield, California native Rolando Martinez turned on a ball for a pinch-hit double to lead off the seventh. He would later score when Nick Rotola picked up his third hit of the night on a double down the left field line. Rotola finished with a team-high three hits and two RBI.
The Golden Eagles started the ninth inning with all the momentum after loading the bases with no outs after back-to-back singles from Martinez and Trevin Sonnier and a hit-by-pitch from Chase Stafford. Rotola was able to plate one run on a fielder's choice, but the Bison would get the final two outs to secure their eighth Summit League win of the season.
- With the loss, ORU now holds a 23-9 lead in the all-time series. The Bison improve to 6-5 in the series when played in North Dakota.
- The loss marks the first of the season for ORU against North Dakota State after the Golden Eagles swept NDSU in Tulsa April 1-3.
- ORU outhit the Bison on the night, 9-7. It marks the just the third time this season that the Golden Eagles have lost when holding the opponent to fewer hits.
- Rolando Martinez entered the game as a pinch hitter in the seventh inning and finished 2-for-2 with a double and a single.
- The Golden Eagles committed a season high four errors on the night.
- Bryce Howe (3-3) was charged with the loss after giving up six hits in four innings of work. Just one of his four runs allowed were earned.
- Reliever Korbin Polly set career highs in both innings pitched (3.0) and strikeouts (4) in his first outing since April 5 against Wichita State.
- North Dakota State put a leadoff runner on base for the first five innings of action.
- Lefty Blake Stockert earned the win and improved to 2-3 on the season.
Oral Roberts will continue the series Saturday at 1 p.m. as right-hander Nick Wood (4-2) takes the mound. The Bison will counter with southpaw Parker Trewin (0-1).
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