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Senior Austin Cowen drove in the then tying run (2-2) with a sacrifice fly to left in the sixth inning.
Courtesy: WIU Visual Productions Center
Senior Austin Cowen drove in the then tying run (2-2) with a sacrifice fly to left in the sixth inning.
Leathernecks Battle but Drop Series Opener
Courtesy: Western Illinois Athletics  
Release: Tuesday 04/20/2012
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TULSA, Okla. - Western Illinois (12-21-1, 3-6) tied the game in the sixth 2-2 but seven combined runs in sixth and seventh innings from Oral Roberts (18-18, 5-3) allowed the Golden Eagles to take the series opener, 9-3, on Friday night.

Nick Smith went four innings and drew a no decision while allowing two runs (one earned) and striking out two. Alexander Zarate (0-2) was given the loss after tossing 1.2 innings and allowing four unearned runs but did walk five.

Mike Torrance (3-5) was good enough to win going six innings, allowing two earned runs and striking out three. Joe Spring collected his first save of the season with a three inning performance, allowing one earned run and striking out four.

Oral Roberts scored early after a single from Kevin Cho and a passed ball allowed Jose Trevino single into left giving ORU the 1-0 lead in the first. The Golden Eagles would continue to pressure the Leathernecks in the second.

A one-out walk was followed by a double from Nate Goro and Logan Domenico grounded out to second to plate Jake O'Brien to make it 2-0.

Dan Dispensa singled to leadoff the fourth for Western's first hit but was nullified by an inning-ending 5-4-3 double play.

Brent Turner made a spectacular play to end the fifth with a flip from the glove to Austin Cowen's bare hand at second.

The sharp defensive play from Turner seemingly sent momentum into the Leatherneck dugout. Manny Reyes smacked a one-out single into center in the sixth. Cowhey sent a double to the wall in left center to give the Purple & Gold its first threat of the night. Dispensa continued the rally with an RBI-single into center, cutting the deficit to 2-1. A sacrifice fly from Cowen plated Reyes to tie game at 2-2.

A pair of bases-loaded walks from Zarate gave the lead back to ORU, 4-2, in the bottom of the sixth. Bennett Pickar drilled a double to left field to score two more and stretch the home lead to 6-2.

Goro crushed a leadoff home run to begin the seventh to extend ORU's lead to 7-2. Trevino collected the second blast of the inning, this one a two-run shot to left center giving ORU a 9-2 advantage.

Turner and Reyes collected singles and Vince Howard followed with a bunt single down the third base side to score Turner from third and make it 9-3.

Chris Macek tossed the final 1.1 innings and did not allow a hit while striking out two.

Saturday will feature a doubleheader beginning at 2 p.m. at J.L. Johnson Stadium.

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