TULSA, Okla. - Oral Roberts will play host to Oklahoma Tuesday night at 6:30 p.m. at J.L. Johnson Stadium. It will mark the first meeting between the two programs this season. Fans can purchase tickets at the ticket office or by calling (918) 495-7ORU (7678).
Geoff Haxton will also have the radio call on 97.1 FM in the Tulsa area and around the world for free through ORUAthletics.com.
SERIES HISTORY WITH OKLAHOMA
ORU trails in the all-time series with Oklahoma, 32-38, but the Golden Eagles have picked up three consecutive victories over the Sooners in the last two seasons. In 2014, ORU swept a home-and-home series, in a pair of shutouts. During the 2015 campaign, ORU defeated Oklahoma in Norman, 5-1. Matt Whatley, Rolando Martinez and Audie Afenir played a key role in the victory, each coming up with a pair of hits in the contest.
LEADING THE WAY
To no one's surprise, Matt Whatley has led the Golden Eagles offensively this season. In 19 games played, the sophomore has a .354 batting average with 15 RBI, three home runs and four doubles. He has earned 12 walks on the year for a .446 on-base percentage. Nationally he ranks 35 with two triples. Not far behind is second-year man Nick Roark. The team leader with four home runs on the season, he has thrived at the number two spot in the batting order, raking in 25 hits.
SUMMIT LEAGUE HONORS
After a masterful week on the diamond, senior Rolando Martinez was named the Summit League's Player of the Week. It was the first weekly honor for the Bakersfield, California native. He had three multi-hit games over the week, including a three-hit game vs. South Dakota State Saturday. In five games last week, he recorded three doubles, a triple and drew five walks while driving in four runs and scoring six times. Martinez finished with a .571 average for the week with a .700 on-base percentage and slugged .929, helping ORU to a 3-2 record. The award marked the third time this season that an ORU player earned player of the Week accolades.
After a sluggish start to the 2016 campaign, returning First Team All-Summit member Noah Cummings has steadily saw improvement at the plate. After the teams' spring break road trip, the sophomore saw his batting average climb from .194 to .300 in nine games He picked up base hits in each of the Golden Eagles five games, including two multiple hit games. He also hit his first home run of the season in the second inning at No. 13 Mississippi State to give Oral Roberts the early lead. He also had five hits in the teams' Summit League opening weekend series against South Dakota State.
SUMMIT OFFENSIVE RUNDOWN
The Golden Eagles rank second in the League in team batting average (.296) behind Omaha (.308). Senior Rolando Martinez is second in the League individually with a .377 average and first in OBP (.494) through 19 games. The Golden Eagles boast three players in the top-10 in hits in Nick Rotola (26), Nick Roark (25) and Whatley (28). The trio also ranks in the top-10 in runs scored.
COME ON DOWN
Prior to last weekend's series with SDSU, sophomore outfielder Sam Grellner appeared in three games, all as a pinch hitter. After a pinch hit single Friday night, the Okarche, Oklahoma native got his shot in the starting lineup and made it count, going 4-for-7 in two games as the designated hitter. He finished the weekend with three RBI, two walks and a double.
DID YOU SEE THAT?
Coming into a game at nationally ranked Mississippi State, ORU's Cale Tims had pitched at most one inning a total of six times in his young career. The sophomore did not show any signs of stage fright at historic Dudy Noble Field in his first career start as he led the Golden Eagles to a 3-1 victory over the Bulldogs. In total, Tims went five complete innings allowing just four hits and one run while striking out a career-high six batters en route to the win.
Sophomore catcher Matt Whatley has been named to the 2016 Johnny Bench Award Watch List as announced by the Greater Wichita Area Sports Commission. Whatley was one of 74 catchers named to the watch list for the Johnny Bench Award which is given annually to the top Division I collegiate catcher. Whatley was the only catcher from the Summit League to be named to the prestigious list. The watch list will be narrowed down to the semifinalists on May 18 followed by the announcement of the three finalists on June 6. The Johnny Bench Award will be presented on June 30 in Wichita, Kansas at the 19th Annual Greater Wichita Sports Banquet. The award honors Cincinnati Red Hall of Fame catcher Johnny Bench, who was not only one of the greatest catchers of all time but revolutionized the position. He was the first catcher to use a protective helmet in the field, popularized catching one-handed and kept his throwing hand behind his back.
Junior Brady Womacks has been the arm in the bullpen that has been called in the ninth to close out games. The right-hander has four on the year and leads the Summit League in the category and is 33st nationally. His last save came against No. 13 Mississippi State as he struck out the side to secure the victory for the Golden Eagles.
The Golden Eagles have been keen to getting out of trouble when opponents put runners on base this season, turning 21 double plays on the year. Against Little Rock, ORU was able to turn nine during the series. The team ranks 16th in the nation in the category and first in the Summit.
COACH GETS 100
Oral Roberts Head Coach Ryan Folmar eclipsed the 100-win mark over the in March with a 14-5 victory over Little Rock. He became the sixth coach in program history to reach 100-wins.
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.
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.
ORU baseball fans will have new ways to watch this spring as the athletic 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.