TULSA, Okla. - Oral Roberts baseball will begin a five-game road swing with a return trip against Wichita State Tuesday night. First pitch is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. at Eck Stadium in Wichita. The game will be available on ESPN 3/WatchESPN with Chris Solwecki and Landon Holifield calling the action. Fans can also follow along via Twitter @ORUBaseball for live updates throughout the game.
SERIES HISTORY WITH WICHITA STATE
The Golden Eagles trail the all-time series with the Shockers 33-29, but ORU has won seven straight in the series that dates back to 1982. The last win came in the team's home opener earlier this season, when ORU won 6-4. Nick Rotola, Nick Roark and Rolando Martinez each collected three hits in the win. Martinez finished the day 3-for-3 with two runs scored, two RBI and his first career home run.
LOOKING AT THE SHOCKERS
Wichita State is coming off a 26-33 record in 2015, finishing tied for third in the Missouri Valley Conference with a 10-11 record. WSU returns 15 letter winners from last year including six position starters. In the Missouri Valley preseason poll, Wichita State was picked to finish third in the conference again, including picking up one first place vote. Missouri State and Dallas Baptist were picked ahead of the Shockers. WSU is 8-9 at home and 1-10 on the road this season.
The Shockers are coming off three straight losses at the hands of No. 6 TCU. Prior to the series with TCU, Wichita State defeated Stephen F. Austin in a pair of midweek games at Eck Stadium. Mikel Mucha leads Wichita State offensively with a .333 average on 31 hits on the season. The redshirt senior has a team high seven doubles and 12 RBI. Gunnar Troutwine leads the Shockers with 23 RBI through 28 games and boasts a .295 batting average.
ORU'S TUESDAY STARTER
Sophomore Cale Tims will make his fourth consecutive midweek start for the Golden Eagles. Tims boasts 2-0 record and a 2.95 ERA in five appearances. The right-hander has put together strong performances this season, picking up wins over both Mississippi State and Oklahoma. In his last outing, Tims tossed five innings at Kansas State.
WICHITA STATE'S TUESDAY STARTER
Right-hander Connor Lungwitz will make his second start of the season Tuesday for the Shockers. Lungwitz tallied his first career win last week against Stephen F. Austin in a six inning showing. In the game, Lungwitz gave up just one hit and struck out 10 batters. The freshman has appeared in three games this season and boasts an ERA of 5.14.
For the second time this season, Oral Roberts players earned both Summit League Player of the Week and Pitcher of the Week honors. Brent Williams earned the honor for the first time in his career after batting .562 on the week with a .600 on-base percentage and 1.062 slugging percent. In total, the junior recorded six RBI and two home runs while leading ORU to a 4-0 record on the week. Freshman Josh McMinn also earned the League's award for the first time in his career after making two appearances out of the bullpen and pitching five innings of no-hit baseball. He improved to 3-1 on the year after picking up a relief appearance win against the Bison game two of the series.
SEND EM' HOME
Quietly turning into one of the teams' best options with runners on base, Brent Williams has put together a solid two weeks on the diamond. The junior has drove in at least one run in the last nine games with 19 RBI during the span. He leads ORU with 27 RBI on the season and ranks second in the Summit League.
The Golden Eagles have been keen to getting out of trouble when opponents put runners on base this season, turning 28 double plays on the year. Against Little Rock, ORU was able to turn nine during the series. As a club, the Golden Eagles rank 21st in the nation in the category.
Three positions on the field have been held in by the same player for all 27 games this season. Nick Rotola (CF), Nick Roark (2B) and Trevin Sonnier (SS) have each made every start for the Golden Eagles at their respective positions. Rotola has been a stronghold in center field while Sonnier (85) and Roark (63) stand at the top of the team in fielding assists. One other player in Matt Whatley has made starts in every game for the Golden Eagles. Whatley has started 25 games behind the plate while serving as the teams' designated hitter two times.
ORU ranks tops in the Summit League and 24th nationally with 61 doubles headed into Tuesday's game with the Shockers. Against Kansas State, the Golden Eagles went for six doubles, including two by senior Chase Stafford who leads the club with 11 on the season. Noah Cummings has picked up two doubles while four other Golden Eagles have collected six each.
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.