The Thunderbirds opened the game with four runs in the top of the first to jump out to an early 4-0 lead. Bo Cuthbertson led off with a single to right and back-to-back errors by the Oakland defense allowed SUU to put the game’s first run on the board. Mitchell Kauweloa added two more runs with a RBI single up the middle and Kevin Kline scored on a throwing error to give Southern Utah a four-run advantage.
The Golden Grizzlies responded with a pair of runs in their turn at the plate to cut the margin in half as Robby Enslen drove an RBI single up the middle with the bases loaded to make the score 4-2. Tim Ryan added an RBI double in the following inning to pull OU within a single run.
Southern Utah got the run back on a leadoff homerun from Marcus Romero in the top of the third, but the Grizzlies recorded three runs in their half of the inning to pull ahead 6-5.
The T-Birds evened the count on a score by Tariq Staton in the fourth, and then went ahead as Romero drove Cuthbertson in from third with an RBI single to help SUU retake a 7-6 lead. OU answered once again as Enslen drove in another pair of runs in the bottom half of the frame to put the Grizzlies up 8-7.
It remained a one-run game until Romero came up with another big hit in the sixth inning to drive in his third run of the game and pull the score to an 8-8 tie. A wild pitch in the next inning would then give Southern Utah the lead as Chase Rezac reached home to make the score 9-8. A passed ball gave the Thunderbirds another run and they held on from there to eventually win by a final score of 10-8.
SUU reliever Matt Nelson (2-3) pitched five scoreless innings to help Southern Utah come away with the victory while Romero finished the day 3-for-5 with a homerun as well as three RBI and two runs scored. Dan Augustine (1-1) took the loss for the Grizzlies who were led at the plate by Enslen who drove in four runs on two hits. The OU defense committed five errors in the game.
The two teams will play again Friday when they meet in a doubleheader starting at 10AM (MT)
SUMMIT LEAGUE STANDINGS
Oral Roberts 15-5 (31-21 overall)
Oakland 12-6 (21-29)
North Dakota State 13-8 (37-16)
Southern Utah 12-8 (18-31)
IPFW 8-16 (16-37)
South Dakota State 6-12 (17-31-1)
Western Illinois 5-16 (15-34-1)