No. 1 Oral Roberts (35-18, 24-6 SL) vs. No. 4 South Dakota State (16-30, 14-13 SL)
Location: Tulsa, Okla. (J.L. Johnson Stadium)
Game Date/Time: Wednesday, May 23 – 6 p.m.
Game Links: Video | Audio | Live Stats
TULSA, Okla. – The No. 1 seed Oral Roberts baseball team opens the 2018 Summit League Championship Wednesday night hosting the No. 4 seed South Dakota State at J.L. Johnson Stadium. The action is scheduled for first pitch at 6 p.m. with live coverage available on the ORU Sports Network as the Golden Eagles make a push for a NCAA Regional bid.
THE STORYLINE: The Golden Eagles enter The Summit League Championship as the top seed winning their 18th-consecutive regular season title. The winner, crowned Saturday, earns the league's automatic bid into a NCAA Regional.
FACING THE SUMMIT LEAGUE: ORU takes on fourth seeded South Dakota State in game two, holding a 50-14 record against the Jackrabbits in the all-time series. The Golden Eagles are 77-11 all-time when facing No. 2 Western Illinois and 35-12 against No. 3 North Dakota State. ORU tallied a 15-3 record when facing the other three teams in the championship during the 2018 campaign.
CHAMPIONSHIP HISTORY: ORU has won a conference record 18 championship titles with a 59-3 record all-time in the postseason event, including a 3-0 mark in 2017. This season marks the 15th time the Golden Eagles have hosted the tournament at J.L. Johnson Stadium winning 47 of 50 games when played at ORU.
FEELING RIGHT AT HOME: The Golden Eagles have enjoyed tremendous success at home this season posting a 24-5 record at J.L. Johnson Stadium. That mark includes a perfect 15-0 mark in Summit League action and wins over Power Five teams Utah, Nebraska and Oklahoma State. ORU has won 10-straight at home and 13 of its last 14 games on its home turf.
MILESTONE VICTORY: Head Coach Ryan Folmar picked up the 200th win of his career against South Dakota State April 20. He is the fifth coach in program history to reach the milestone and did so in just his sixth season leading the team. His all-time record now stands at 203-126 (.617).
ESPN'S TOP PLAYS: Harrison Smith joined the growing list of ORU baseball players featured on ESPN's SportsCenter with the No. 1 play (4/13). Last season, the Golden Eagles recorded three, top 10 plays, more than any other collegiate baseball team in America during the two-month span.
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 fan 125 opponents in 91.3 frames averaging 12.32 strikeouts per nine innings pitched. They have totaled a 10-3 record with 14 saves led by ORU's all-time saves leader, Stout.
COMPLETE GAME EARNS WEEKLY HONOR: Friday night starting pitcher Josh McMinn was named Summit League Pitcher of the Week May 14. The junior tossed ORU's first complete game of the campaign allowing one run on four hits to Omaha.
MAKE THAT TWO: Miguel Ausua landed Pitcher of the Week honors April 16 after narrowly missing a no-hitter against Fort Wayne. The senior added another award April 30 tossing eight innings of one-run baseball versus Western Illinois.
LEAD-OFF WINNER: ORU lead-off hitter Nick Roark was named Summit League Player of the Week April 23 as he matched his career high with four hits against SDSU. He hit .474 with six RBI, three runs, two doubles and a pair of walks.
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. Stout added the same weekly award May 7 after a three-save week, including the final five outs in a home win over in-state rival and nationally-ranked Oklahoma State.
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 25-18 mark against the Power Five, going 16-8 when facing a team from the Big 12. ORU is 29-29 against teams in Power Five conferences during his tenure, including a 14-5 mark in home games.
NATIONAL PRESEASON HONORS: Miguel Ausua 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 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.
SEE US NATIONALLY: Nine ORU baseball home games were 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 ESPN+.
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 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.