TULSA — Eighth-ranked Cal State Fullerton proved to be a tough test on Friday night as they topped the Oral Roberts Golden Eagles at J.L. Johnson Stadium, 5-0.
Prior to the game, the Golden Eagle baseball program honored former player and fallen Marine, Captain Ryan Iannelli, who was killed in action in Afghanistan in 2011. There was also an Army swearing in ceremony at home plate, the National Guard presented the colors and a member of the ORU ROTC sang the national anthem.
The loss drops the Golden Eagle record to 5-11, while the Titans of Fullerton improve to 14-3. Game two of the three game series is set for a 2 p.m. start on Saturday.
Pitching well through the first six innings was Oral Roberts starter Alex Gonzalez (1-4). The junior struck out eight batters, but allowed two runs in the top of the seventh and three in the eighth.
Nathan Garza finished the eighth inning and Taylor Tryon entered in the ninth to hold the Titans at bay. Neither pitcher allowed a hit and fanned one batter each.
Thomas Eshelman earned the victory for the Titans (4-1).
The Golden Eagles had several opportunities as the game went along to score some runs, eventually tying the Titans with a total of six hits. On four different occasions, the Golden Eagles had runners in scoring position, but were unable to cash in on the chances.
Of those chances, Nate Goro found himself in a position to score a run twice after he singled in the second, reaching second on a groundout, and he doubled in the seventh. Goro finished the game with three hits in as many at bats.
Logan Domenico, Matt Brandy and Chris Williams each singled as well.
Following Goro's double in the seventh, the Golden Eagles had their best opportunity to push a runner across, trailing 2-0, but Austin Colt was robbed of a double down the left field line by a diving Fullerton third baseman.