OMAHA, Neb. (SDSU) – Oral Roberts right-hander Matt Gaskins pitched a complete game, limiting South Dakota State to a run on four hits as the top-seeded Golden Eagles opened the Summit League Baseball Championship with a 7-1 victory over South Dakota State Thursday afternoon at Tal Anderson Field.
ORU improved to 29-21 overall and will face the winner of Thursday’s second game between North Dakota State and Omaha at 3 p.m. Friday. SDSU dropped to 14-31 overall and face the NDSU-Omaha loser in an elimination game at 11 a.m. Friday.
The Golden Eagles scored a pair of first-inning runs, the first on back-to-back opposite-field doubles by Jake McMurray and Ryan Cash, with Cash later scoring on a single to left field by Blake Hall off Jackrabbit starter Cody Carlson. Hall was 3-for-4 to pace ORU’s nine-hit attack.
An Anthony Martinez solo homer in the second inning upped the ORU lead to 3-1.
The Jackrabbits tallied their lone run in the top of the fourth with the help of an ORU error. Luke Ira led off the inning and moved to second when Ryan McDonald reached on an error. Both runners moved up a base on a groundout before Ira came across to score on another groundout off the bat of Landon Badger.
ORU took back the momentum with a two-run fifth inning and tacked on runs in the sixth and eighth frames to pull away. Alec Jones drove in the last two Golden Eagle runs with a double and sacrifice fly.
That was more than enough support for Gaskins, who struck out six and did not walk a batter.
Carlson struck out five in five-plus innings for the Jackrabbits. Bret Barnett finished on the mound for SDSU, striking out one and giving up one run in three innings of work.
- Oral Roberts leads the all-time series, 62-19, including a 14-0 mark in Summit League tournament games
- The Jackrabbits dropped to 17-20 all-time in 11 Summit League tournament appearances
- SDSU pitchers did not issue a walk for the third time this season
- Both Derek Hackman and Ryan McDonald had their streaks of reaching base safely end at 17 games
- Carson Max had the lone extra-base hit for the Jackrabbits with a fifth-inning double
- Carlson completed five innings for the 10th time in 12 starts this season
- Each team stranded four men on base