TULSA, Okla. - Oral Roberts is set for a four-game series with Little Rock beginning this Friday with first pitch set for 3 p.m. The two teams will play a doubleheader Saturday (2 p.m.) and finish the series Sunday at 1 p.m.
Oral Roberts holds a 9-2 advantage in the all-time series with Little Rock. The Golden Eagles have won the last six meetings in the series that dates back to 1996. During 2015 campaign ORU took the first game of the home-and-home by a score of 15-2 in seven innings before sweeping the season series in Tulsa with a 5-3 win at J.L. Johnson Stadium.
LOOKING AT LITTLE ROCK
Little Rock comes into the weekend series with a 4-4 record after rolling past Mississippi Valley State by a score of 20-3 Wednesday. Prior to its midweek matchup with the Delta Devils, Little Rock took one of four games against IPFW. Ryan Scott leads the way for Little Rock with a .469 average and four home runs in eight games.
LAST TIME OUT
Oral Roberts is coming off a 5-0 defeat at the hands of No. 12 Missouri State Wednesday in Springfield, Missouri. The Golden Eagles picked up seven hits during the game, but were unable to string together multiple hits in any inning. Freshman hurler Josh McMinn got his first career start on the mound, going six complete innings and allowing only one run while striking out a career high seven batters. Second-year catcher Matt Whatley led the team on the offensive side of the ball, finishing the day with a pair of singles and increasing his season hit streak to seven games. The Golden Eagles game up a trio of home runs in the contest, the most this season in a single game.
SWEEPING THE SUMMIT
Both Nick Roark and Brady Womacks swept this week's Summit League Player of the Week honors after leading ORU to a 3-1 week and wins over Wichita State and Dallas Baptist. It was the first time either had won conference honors. Roark finished the week with a .500 average on 10 hits which included two doubles and a three run homer. He led ORU with seven RBI and 15 total bases on the week. Womacks earned the honor after picking up a pair of saves in three appearances out of the bullpen. Womacks entered in the ninth inning with the bases loaded Tuesday night against WSU. The Pevely, Mo. native got out of the jam and picked up his first career save in ORU's first win of the season. He also picked up a three-inning save in the series finale at Dallas Baptist. In the outing he did not allow a hit.
COACH EYES 100
Oral Roberts Head Coach Ryan Folmar needs just one win to eclipse the 100-win plateau entering 2016. At a 99-78 career record over three years with the Navy and Gold, he would become the sixth coach in program history to reach the 100-win mark.
THEY HAVE THE SPEED
A little different than teams in the past, this year's squad has showed its speed on the base paths. In 2015, the Golden Eagles stole just 52 bases on the season. This year, the Golden Eagles have eight steals in six games. Junior outfielder Michael Hungate leads ORU with four swipes in as many attempts while the speedy shortstop Trevin Sonnier has a pair.
THROWING THE ARSENAL
The Golden Eagles used its whole arsenal against Wichita State in a 6-4 win at J.L. Johnson Stadium (2/24). In total, ORU put 10 different pitchers on the mound. The last time the team used 10 or more pitchers in a game came at Wichita State in the 2013 season in a 10-inning affair.
If you haven't paid much attention this year, you may be a little lost when you look on the field. That is because there are 20 new faces to the program this season, including eight freshmen. It marks the largest turnover in the program since Ryan Folmar took the reins during the 2013 season. The Golden Eagles lost 12 seniors off of last year's Summit League Champion team, as well as five draftees in 2015.
2015 MLB DRAFT
Five Golden Eagles were selected in the MLB First Year Player Draft last spring. Anthony Sequeira was drafted in the 23rd round (Pick: 684) by the Phillies; Audie Afenir was taken by the Yankees in the 25th round (Pick: 753); Xavier Altamirano went in the 27th round (Pick: 818) to the Athletics; Guillermo Trujillo went to the Orioles in the 35th round (Pick: 1063) while senior Jacob McDavid was selected with the final pick of the draft (Pick: 1215) by the Angels. This 2015 class was the largest since 2009 when six Golden Eagles were taken.
The Golden Eagles' early season schedule featured three Missouri valley Conference programs, including nationally ranked Dallas Baptist and Missouri State. The team finished its first seven games with a 3-4 record and a series win at No. 26 DBU; the first series win over the Patriots since the 2008 season. The Golden Eagles also picked up a win over Wichita State in the teams home-opener at J.L. Johnson Stadium.
Oral Roberts has been tabbed to repeat as Summit League baseball champions in a poll of the league's head coaches. The Golden Eagles are looking to extend on their record 15 regular season titles and 16 tournament championships in 2016. ORU received all five of its possible first-place votes. Fort Wayne, last season's tournament runner-up, was picked second, its highest preseason ranking in program history. South Dakota State was slotted third with the final first-place tally, followed by Omaha, North Dakota State and Western Illinois. The Golden Eagles finished the 2015 season with a 41-16 overall mark and 25-5 in The Summit League, advancing to the NCAA Tournament for the 25th time in program history.
PLAYING TO THE COMPETITION
In six games, five against nationally-ranked teams in 2015, ORU posted a 5-1 records, beating Oklahoma, No. 12 Texas Tech and No. 10 Oklahoma State on the road. ORU also took down the Cowboys and Red Raiders at J.L. Johnson Stadium.
Oral Roberts returned to NCAA regional competition for the first time since 2013 with a trip to the NCAA Stillwater Regional hosted by Oklahoma State in 2015. The Golden Eagles competed in a regional for the 25th time in program history.
TWO-STRAIGHT, 30-WIN SEASONS
The 2015 squad topped the 30-win plateau for the second straight year. The two-straight 30-win seasons were accompanied for the first time in as many years with a berth to the NCAA Tournament.
The Golden Eagles will head to Frisco, Texas Tuesday for a game against Texas Tech at Dr Pepper Ballpark; the home of the Frisco RoughRiders. First pitch is slated for 2 p.m.
BACK AND BETTER
ORU baseball fans will have new ways to watch this spring as the department utilizes new technology during home games. A total of 23 games, including a portion of The Summit League Baseball Championship are scheduled to be streamed free of charge with audio overlay from the Voice of the Golden Eagles, Geoff Haxton.
For the latest information on ORU baseball, follow @ORUBaseball on Twitter or go to www.ORUAthletics.com. Fans can also receive updates on the team by downloading the Golden Eagles Front Row App at ORUAthletics.com/frontrow or in the App Store.