ORU Opens League Play with 11-1 Win Over Gents
Saturday, April 9, 2011
TULSA, Okla.-Oral Roberts jumped out to an early lead and held Centenary in check, defeating the Gents, 11-1 in seven innings, on Friday evening in its Summit League opener at J.L. Johnson Stadium in Tulsa, Okla.

The Gents (3-13, 0-1 Summit) played their 14th straight road game and were challenged by 13-time defending Summit League champion, Oral Roberts (12-11, 1-0 Summit) as it took a 9-0 lead through three innings.

The Golden Eagles used timely hitting and patience at the plate, drawing six walks to manufacture 11 total runs for the win.

Centenary tallied seven hits, led by freshmen RJ Talamantes (2x3, R) and Mark Gillean (2x3) each with two base knocks. Junior Jeff Schaffert (1x3, 2B) doubled, while sophomore Matt Creamer (1x3) and freshman Pete Rajkovich (1x2) each singled.

Junior Seth Lugo (1.2,6,8,8,4,1) struggled early and only lasted 1.2 innings as the Gents starter. The righty allowed eight runs on six hits and four walks with one strikeout to fall to 2-4 on the season with the loss.

ORU plated two runs in the bottom of the first and produced a solid second inning, offensively, with six runs to gain an early 8-0 lead. During those frames, the Golden Eagles connected on six hits. ORU would hold Centenary scoreless, while grabbing another run in third on two hits.

Freshman Ryan Maldonado (4.1,6,3,3,2,2) relieved Lugo in the bottom of the second and tossed 4.1 innings of work out of the pen. The right-hander gave up three runs on six hits and two walks, while fanning two.

Centenary tallied one hit in each of the first four innings, including a double by Schaffert in the fourth with one out, but manufacturing a run proved to be the struggle throughout most of the contest.

The Gents only run came in the sixth when Talamantes opened the frame with a single to center field. He was followed by Creamer with a base knock to left field. With one out and runners at first and second, Schaffert's groundout advanced Talamantes and Creamer, putting them in position to move up a base on a wild pitch, which scored Talamantes from third.

Freshman Sam Martin (0.0,1,0,0,0,0) took over on the bump for Maldonado with two runners on and no outs. An RBI-double by ORU would end the game due to the 10-run mercy run that becomes a factor in Summit League play.

ORU reliever Tyler Sparks (3.0,3,1,1,0,4) picked up the win after tossing 3.0 innings, giving up one run on three hits, while striking out four. Nick Baligod was 4-for-4 with four RBI and a run scored to lead the Golden Eagles at the plate.

Centenary will continue the four-game series on Saturday with a double-header beginning at 2 pm CT. Live stats are available on www.orugoldeneagles.com.