TULSA, Okla. — TULSA _ Oral Roberts starting pitcher Alex Gonzalez handcuffed the No. 23 University of Central Arkansas Bears on Friday as the Golden Eagles opened Southland Conference play with an 8-1 victory at J.L. Johnson Stadium.
Gonzalez (2-4), a junior righthander, allowed just five hits and one earned run, striking out eight in eight solid innings as ORU (6-15, 1-0) broke an 11-game losing streak. UCA starter Caleb McClanahan (4-2) allowed six hits and three earned runs in six innings of work.
The Golden Eagles scored a run in the second inning on a ground out and made it 3-0 in the fifth on Austin Colt’s two-run double over the head of UCA center fielder Jonathan Davis.
UCA, which had won 6 of it last 7 games, managed just two hits through the first five innings off Gonzalez, a freshman All-American last season. The Bears (18-4, 0-1) finally scratched across a run in the eighth inning when Justin Treece singled to center and Ethan Harris reached on a fielder’s choice. After Blake Marchal walked to load the bases, Jonathan Davis brought in the run with another walk. However, the Bears left the bases loaded when Michael Marietta hit into a fielder’s choice.
The Golden Eagles blew the game open in the eighth against UCA’s bullpen, scoring five runs on just two hits. UCA contributed an error and a costly wild pitch in the inning.
ORU tallied eight hits, with Colt going 2 for 2, catcher Jose Trevino going 2 for 3 and designated hitter Tyler Boss finishing 2 for 4. For UCA, third baseman Garrett Brown went 2 for 4 and right fielder Forrestt Allday was 1 for 3 with a double.
Game 2 of the series is set for 2 p.m. Saturday.