Oral Roberts (21-14, 11-4 Summit League) at South Dakota State (9-20, 7-5 Summit League)
Friday Location: Council Bluffs, Iowa (Iowa Western Community College)
Games One/Two: Friday, Apr. 20 – 12 / 3:30 p.m.
Saturday Location: Omaha, Neb. (Millard North High School)
Game Three: Saturday, Apr. 21 – 4 p.m.
Game Links: Audio | Live Stats
TULSA, Okla. – The Summit League-leading Oral Roberts baseball team puts its four-game win streak on the line against South Dakota State opening a three-game series April 20-21. Weather forced the teams to change venues as a doubleheader Friday is slated to be played at Iowa Western Community College in Council Bluffs, Iowa, while game three is set for Saturday at Millard North High School in Omaha, Nebraska.
THE STORYLINE: The Golden Eagles have bounced back from a rough outing last week to win four-straight games scoring double-digit runs in all four contests. ORU has out-scored its opponents 45-11 during the winning streak following a 10-5 win at rival Oklahoma State. South Dakota State has yet to play a true road game with weather wreaking havoc on its schedule, but that has not stopped the team from winning six of its last seven games.
FACING THE JACKRABBITS: ORU owns a 48-13 record against SDSU in the all-time series dating back to 1971. The Golden Eagles swept the Jackrabbits at home in March and won 16 of the last 17 meetings.
ESPN'S TOP PLAYS: Harrison Smith joined the growing list of ORU baseball players featured on ESPN's SportsCenter. The senior made a remarkable diving catch Friday night and was the No. 1 play in the country. Last season, the Golden Eagles recorded three, top 10 plays, more than any other collegiate baseball team in America during the two-month span. Nick Roark (2/28), Cal Hernandez (3/21) and Noah Cummings (4/18) all represented the Golden Eagles on the nationally-televised segment showcasing superb defense.
FEELING RIGHT AT HOME: The Golden Eagles have enjoyed tremendous success at home this season posting a 17-5 record at J.L. Johnson Stadium, including a perfect 9-0 mark in Summit League action. Miguel Ausua and Grant Townsend are both 4-0 at home for ORU. Spencer Henson has .397 batting average with 27 RBI in 21 home appearances.
HOLD 'EM BACK: The back end of the ORU bullpen has been electric all season with the emergence of Kyler Stout, Brady Womacks and Grant Townsend. The trio has combined to punch out 94 opponents in 61.2 innings of work averaging 13.72 strikeouts per nine inning pitched. They have totaled a 6-1 record with nine saves.
NO-HIT BID LANDS WEEKLY AWARD: Miguel Ausua landed his third career Pitcher of the Week honor April 16 after narrowly missing a no-hitter against Fort Wayne. The senior allowed one hit and one run over seven innings for his fifth win of the year.
FOURTH TIME FOR NOAH: Senior Noah Cummings landed the fourth Summit League Player of the Week honor of his career April 2. He hit .400 for the week with six RBI, four runs, two doubles, one home run and one stolen base, while totaling a .733 slugging percentage.
SUMMIT HONORS: ORU swept The Summit League weekly honors March 12 with Riley Keizor and Kyler Stout. Keizor hit .476 (7-for-15) with two RBI, a double and a run scored, while Stout picked up a save and win in relief totaling six strikeouts in 3.1 innings.
SWEEP THE SUMMIT: Spencer Henson and Justin McGregor were named Summit League Player and Pitcher of the Week opening weekend. Henson hit .556 with four RBI to lead the offense, while McGregor struck out six in five innings of a scoreless start.
POWER FIVE TILTS: Coach Folmar and the Golden Eagles have not shied away from playing the NCAA's top conferences. Since the start of the 2015 season, ORU has posted a 24-17 mark against the Power Five, going 15-8 when facing a team from the Big 12. ORU is an even 28-28 against teams in Power Five conferences during his tenure, including a 13-5 mark in home games.
NATIONAL PRESEASON HONORS: Miguel Ausua, the reigning Summit League Pitcher of the Year, was named to the NCBWA Preseason All-American First Team as he returns from a 2017 campaign where he ranked third in the nation with 11 wins. Noah Cummings, last year's Summit League Player of the Year, landed on the second team following a 70-RBI season as a junior.
HOME COOKING: The 2018 schedule was front loaded with home games as ORU played its first 10 games at J.L. Johnson Stadium between Feb. 16 and Mar. 7. With Coach Folmar at the helm, the Golden Eagles have tallied a 107-48 (.684) record in home games and won 20 or more in each of the last three seasons.
TOUGH SLATE: ORU has another challenging schedule in 2018 facing four teams that advanced to a NCAA Regional totaling 10 of its 55 games. The slate also features matchups with three Power Five conferences; Pac 12, Big 12 and Big 10.
STREAK CONTINUES: The Golden Eagles won their 17th-straight regular season title in The Summit League in 2017. ORU went on to win three-consecutive games in the conference tournament, highlighted by Ausua's complete-game shutout in the championship to secure its 18th title in a row.
CLEAN SWEEP: The Golden Eagles cleaned up in the 2017 Summit League postseason awards winning all four major honors with Noah Cummings (Player of the Year), Miguel Ausua (Pitcher of the Year), Dylan Snypes (Newcomer of the Year) and Ryan Folmar (Coach of the Year). ORU also had a program-record 10 first-team all-league selections and three second-team all-league honorees.
TOP THE SUMMIT: After earning The Summit League's automatic bid, ORU made its 27th all-time appearance in the NCAA Regionals. The Golden Eagles eliminated Oklahoma State in game two giving Coach Folmar his first-career NCAA victory, before falling to host Arkansas.
SEE US NATIONALLY: Nine ORU baseball home games will be available nationally on ESPN3. Scott Higgins will have the live play-by-play call, while George Frazier, Erik Hansen and Scott Slarks will provide color commentary and sideline reporting from J.L. Johnson Stadium. Select other games also will be available via regional broadcasts on Fox Sports and ESPN3.
HOSTING THE BEST: The top four teams in The Summit League's regular season standings will qualify for the 2018 Summit League Baseball Championship hosted in Tulsa, Oklahoma, for the third-straight season. ORU will host the double-elimination event at J.L. Johnson Stadium May 23-26.
STAYING CONNECTED: Follow the Golden Eagles all season long across social media platforms and two mobile apps (ORU Golden Eagles Live and ORU Front Row) available on Google Play and the App State. Use the hashtag #ORUBase to stay connected with fans across the nation on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.
WHERE TO CATCH US: Listen live to every ORU baseball game in 2018 with Adam Hildebrandt on the ORU Sports Network. All 30 home games also will feature free video and stats with links at www.ORUAthletics.com.
For the latest information on ORU Baseball, follow the Golden Eagles on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, or go to www.ORUAthletics.com. Fans can also receive updates on the team by downloading two mobile apps, ORU Golden Eagles Live and ORU Front Row, available on the App Store and Google Play.