ACU senior Brady Rodriguez tossed a complete-game three-hit shutout and Seth Spivey hit a two-run home run Friday night as the Wildcats blanked Oral Roberts, 7-0, in a Southland Conference game at J.L. Johnson Stadium.
The win pushes the Wildcats to 17-28 overall and 6-13 in the Southland Conference. The loss for the Golden Eagles drops them to 27-23 and 12-13 in league play. The loss was crucial for ORU, which was alone in eighth place going into the game. The top eight teams at the end of the regular season will qualify for the conference's post-season tournament in Conway, Ark.
ORU hadn't been shut out this season, but Rodriguez limited the Golden Eagles to just three singles and was never in real danger of giving up a run until the eighth inning when back-to-back singles by Tyler Boss and Matt Brandy put two runners on base with no outs.
But Rodriguez got a strikeout, a groundout to first base and a groundout to shortstop to end the inning and send the game to the ninth inning with ACU still ahead 7-0.
The Wildcats got the first two runs of the game in the third inning when Colton Hall led off with a single to right field and came home when Spivey hit a two-run home run to right field, his fifth round-tripper of the season.
Freshman shortstop Brandon Grudzielanek had an RBI single in the fifth to give ACU a 3-0 lead, and then the Wildcats put the finishing touches on the win with a four-run sixth inning.
With one out, Russell Crippen singled, went to second on a walk by Gunnar Buhner and scored on a double to right-centerfield by Hall. After Spivey walked to load the bases, Jordan Forrester struck out for the second out of the inning. But following the strikeout, Tyler Eager, Grudzielanek and Emil Litterer each drew bases-loaded walks to drive in runs and make it a 7-0 game.
The Wildcats did most of their damage against starting pitcher Gavin Glanz, who fell to 3-5 with the loss. Glanz went 5 1/3 innings and gave up five runs on eight hits and three walks.
Rodriguez, meanwhile, improved to 2-4 with the win as he allowed just one walk and struck out four Golden Eagles. His effort was the Wildcats' second complete-game shutout of the season, joining Garrett deMeyere's four-hit shutout of Stephen F. Austin on April 19 at Crutcher Scott Field. Prior to deMeyere's shutout, the Wildcats hadn't had a complete-game shutout since Ben Brockman blanked Tarleton State, 1-0, on three hits back on April 8, 2005.
Oral Roberts entered the game on a four-game winning streak and has two wins over Oklahoma this season (3-0 and 2-0), two over Missouri State, one against Oklahoma State and one against Kansas.
The series will continue Saturday at 2 p.m. withe the series finale set for 1 p.m. Sunday.
Information for this story provided by ACU Athletics.