Seven strong innings from the Golden Eagle bullpen helped Oral Roberts to The Summit League Championship game on Saturday after defeating No. 4 seed South Dakota State, 5-2, Friday night at J.L. Johnson Stadium.
With the win, ORU will take on No. 3 seed IPFW Saturday at 1 p.m. If the Golden Eagles win the game, it will force one more game that will begin at 4:30 p.m. or 30 minutes after the conclusion of the opener to decide the League's automatic qualifier to the NCAA Tournament. Tickets from the 1 p.m. game will be valid for the final game if needed.
Oral Roberts jumped on top quickly, scoring a run in each of the first two innings. Brent Williams drove in the first run of the game with a single to center to score Nick Roark from second before Nick Rotola drove in another run in the second on a sacrifice fly.
South Dakota State was hitless until the third inning before Luke Ringhofer singled to center with the bases loaded to put the Jacks on the board. SDSU would not add to their run as Grant Glaze and the Golden Eagles turned a double play and induced a fly ball to end the inning.
SDSU would tie the game in the fifth as Tony Kjolsing led off the frame with a solo home run to left field, his second homer of the year.
ORU would get back in the scoring column in the sixth when they drove in three runs. Trevin Sonnier, Noah Cummings, Rotola and Roark each connected on base hits to put the Golden Eagles on top for good.
The bullpen held strong for the Golden Eagles, giving up just one run in seven innings. Glaze, Canyon, Texas product, improved to 2-0 on the year after tossing four innings and allowing one run off four hits. Holden Cammack allowed only one hit in the final three innings to collect his third save of the season.
ORU moves to 7-1 on the season against SDSU and 54-3 all-time in the Summit League Tournament.
The Golden Eagles move to 21-4 at J.L. Johnson Stadium this season.
Oral Roberts outhit SDSU, 12-5 on the night and limited the Jackrabbit scoring threats by turning three double plays.
Nick Roark collected three of the teams' 12 hits, scoring twice on the night.
Nick Rotola, Noah Cummings, Brent Williams and Trevin Sonnier each recorded a pair of hits.
The loss went to Ryan Froom who allowed five runs in five and two thirds innings.
No Jackrabbit batter recorded more than one hit.
ORU will have to take two games from Fort Wayne Saturday to gain the League's automatic berth to the NCAA Tournament. First pitch from J.L. Johnson Stadium is scheduled for 1 p.m. The "if necessary" game will follow at 4:30 p.m. or 30 minutes after the conclusion of the early game.