ORU Loses Mistake-Filled Contest to Western Illinois

Thursday, May 26th 2011, 12:20 pm
By: News On 6

Originally Published: Apr 16, 2011 5:54 PM CDT

Corey DeMoss
Oklahoma Sports Staff Writer

MACOMB, Ill. – The Oral Roberts baseball team committed four errors that doomed its starting pitcher and led to a 13-5 blowout loss to Western Illinois Saturday.

The Golden Eagles (15-13, 4-2) took a quick lead with two runs in the top of the first thanks to an RBI double by Chris Elder and RBI singles by T.J. Bennett and Brandon King. But ORU’s defensive woes struck in the bottom of the inning.

Western Illinois (11-22, 3-3) should have gone down in order in the bottom of the first, but the Eagles committed two errors in the first three at-bats. The second resulted in an unearned run, and ORU committed another error later in the inning.

The three mistakes in the frame caused starting pitcher Bryce Smolen to be pulled after recording only one out. He gave up a total of five runs, but none of them were earned.

Western Illinois continued to pile on runs in the next two innings. The Leathernecks scored two in the second and three in the third to give them a commanding 10-3 lead, and the game was never close after that.

Oral Roberts managed to score two runs in the fifth, but they were immaterial. The Leathernecks scored one in the bottom of the fifth and two more in the eighth to finish the scoring.

Smolen (2-3) was credited with a loss despite not allowing any earned runs and only three hits. Zach Sterling (3-2) earned a win while giving up five earned runs on 13 hits in six innings of work.

Saturday’s loss marked ORU’s second in a row, and came one day after the Eagles’ main enemy was the weather. ORU trailed 3-2 after the seventh inning Friday, but took the lead 5-3 with three runs in the eighth.

However, the game had to be called because of poor weather. By rule, the score went back to what it was at the end of the last completed inning. So, despite the fact they were winning when the game was called, the Eagles still finished with a loss.