Xavier Altamirano and Kyler Stout combined for 16 strikeouts on the mound for the Oral Roberts baseball team Sunday as the duo pushed the Golden Eagles to a 4-3 victory over North Dakota State, clinching the Summit League series at J.L. Johnson Stadium.
Altamirano alone accounted for 14 strikeouts, the most for a single pitcher at ORU since Jerry Sullivan had 14 at North Dakota State April 25, 2009. Stout (1-1) got the win, striking out two in the final two innings. The 16 combined strikeouts were the most since 2009 when the Golden Eagles hit that mark four times during the season.
ORU has now won 16 straight Summit League series, dating back to 2010.
ORU was led at the plate by Noah Cummings, who had two hits, including a bunt single in the eighth inning to continue the game-winning rally after Matt Whatley led off the inning with a double. ORU had two extra base hits in the game with Cummings and Whatley each recording a double.
NDSU got a solid performance on the mound from Trent Keefer, who held ORU in check through five innings and notched the complete game for the Bison.
ORU rallied for two runs in the bottom of the eighth inning, taking the 4-3 lead on a sacrifice fly by Audie Afenir to score Cummings.
Oral Roberts: Cummings led the way offensively with a pair of hits in four at bats. Altamirano had a career day on the mound with 14 strikeouts, the most for a Golden Eagle since 2009.
North Dakota State: Keefer went the distance on the mound for NDSU, giving up four runs on six hits and striking out five Golden Eagles.
Inside the Box Score
- Both teams were perfect through 2.5 innings before Chase Stafford ripped a double through the left side for the first base runner for either team in the game.
- Altamirano recorded 14 strikeouts in 7.0 innings of work, the most strikeouts by a Golden Eagle since Jerry Sullivan had 14 at North Dakota State April 25, 2009.
- North Dakota State had just two hits in the game, the fewest allowed this season by ORU.
- ORU had six hits in the game, finishing the series with 26 hits against the Bison.
- Cummings was the lone Golden Eagle with multiple hits, going 2-4 on the day with a hit and a run scored.
- Cummings, Whatley, Derrian James and Chase Stafford each scored a run, while Cummings, Matt Brandy, Audie Afenir and Nick Roark each tallied an RBI.
- Ben Petersen and Taylor Sanders had the two hits for the Bison.
- ORU finally got on the board in the bottom of the sixth inning, taking advantage of a pair of Bison errors to grab a 2-0 lead. James led the inning off by reaching on an error by the third baseman and as Stafford tried to sacrifice him over the throw was sent into centerfield.
- Roark earned his first RBI of the season on a sacrifice fly to the wall in left field to score James.
- Cummings put ORU up 2-0 with an RBI double to left field, scoring Stafford.
- NDSU answered right back in the top of the seventh as it was the Bison who took advantage of ORU's miscues. The Bison also got their first hit of the game in the inning.
- Brayden Resch reached on an error, and although it looked like ORU had a chance for a double play on a ground ball by John Skrbec, the throw got away and allowed Resch to score.
- A sacrifice fly from Danny Regan plated the tying run in the seventh.
- More ORU miscues allowed the Bison to take a 3-2 lead in the eighth as pinch runner Jon Hechtner was sacrificed to second base and then move to third and home on wild pitches.
- After a leadoff double by Stafford, ORU got runners on first and third with no one out after a bunt single by Cummings. Brandy's chopper over the pitcher's head scored Stafford and tied the game 3-3.
- Still in the bottom of the eighth, ORU regained the lead and Afenir earned the RBI with a sacrifice fly ball to deep center field, scoring Cummings.
The Golden Eagles head to Lubbock, Texas, for a two-game mid-week series against Texas Tech March 17-18. First pitch Tuesday is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. while Wednesday's contest is slated for 2 p.m.