Golden Eagles to face UCA in key conference showdown
TULSA, Okla. – With the Southland Conference schedule winding down, the Oral Roberts University baseball team is set for a key three-game series at Central Arkansas beginning on Friday. First pitch of the series is scheduled for 6 p.m., with game two set for 7 p.m. on Saturday and game three will begin at 1 p.m. on Sunday.
ORU (23-21) and UCA (22-19) each enter the weekend series tied for eighth with a 10-11 conference record. Only the top eight teams in the league will qualify for the Southland Conference Tournament.
Last weekend, ORU dropped two of three at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, winning the series finale on Sunday with a 17-6 mercy-rule victory in seven innings. The Golden Eagles are coming off their longest game of the season, losing a 4-1, 12-inning affair at the hands of No. 19 Texas Tech on Tuesday.
Following a three-hit performance against the Red Raiders, senior Tyler Boss has improved his team high batting average to .353 this season, the eighth best average in the Southland. Boss and Jose Trevino are both in the top 10 in slugging percentage in the league, with Boss entering the weekend slugging .477 and Trevino coming in at .470.
After sweeping McNeese State two weeks ago, UCA dropped all three contests on the road last weekend at Northwestern State. The Bears strength is in the pitching staff, led by projected Saturday starter Chris Caudle. The junior is 10th in the conference with a 2.75 earned run average and is tied for third in the league with six victories, including three complete games.
At the plate, senior Doug Votolato leads the Bears at the plate with a .352 average from the leadoff spot, including six doubles, one triple, one home run and has scored a team high 38 times. Votolato is also tied with a conference high 16 stolen bases.
Prior to the 2013 Southland Conference Tournament, ORU dominated the series with UCA, winning the first seven games, including a three-game sweep to begin the 2013 conference campaign at J.L. Johnson Stadium. However, the Bears won when it counted last season, handing the Golden Eagles two losses to end their season in Sugar Land, Texas, in the tournament.