TULSA, Okla. – Oral Roberts baseball closes its season-long, 11-game homestand hosting South Dakota State for a three-game Summit League series at J.L. Johnson Stadium. The Golden Eagles go for their fifth-straight win starting Friday night at 6:30 p.m. on ESPN3.
THE STORYLINE: The Golden Eagles are riding a four-game win streak following a mid-week win over Wichita State to match its longest streak of the season. The weekend series is a matchup of Summit League unbeatens as ORU and SDSU both swept its conference opponents last weekend to stand atop the league standings. The Golden Eagles enter the weekend ranked 73rd in the latest RPI standings, while the Jackrabbits are 217th.
FACING THE JACKRABBITS: ORU and SDSU have met 45 times on the diamond since the all-time series began in 1971. The Golden Eagles have a commanding 33-12 edge when facing the Jackrabbits, including winning eight straight and nine of the last 10 meetings. ORU is 24-6 when SDSU makes the trip to Tulsa playing at J.L. Johnson Stadium.
NATIONAL RANKINGS: After a five home run outburst against the Shockers Tuesday, the Golden Eagles jumped to 13th in the nation for home runs hit in 2017 with 25. ORU also ranks 47th in the NCAA behind a .977 fielding percentage.
SWINGING SNYPES: Dylan Snypes has been an offensive catalyst for ORU this season and currently leads The Summit League in batting average, doubles and hits. He also finds his name among the nation's top hitters in 30th place with nine doubles and ranks 37th totaling 32 hits in 20 games.
PUSH THE STREAK: ORU is in search of extending its league record of 16-straight regular season championships and 17 tournament titles after sweeping the league in 2016.
THIRD TIME THE CHARM: ORU landed both the Summit League Player and Pitcher of the Week for three-straight weeks March 13 with Snypes and McMinn earning the honors. Snypes had a pair of three-hit efforts, including his team-leading eighth double, while McMinn pitched eight innings in a win over No. 16 DBU allowing just one earned run.
SUMMIT HONORS: Matt Whatley and McGregor were named Summit League Player and Pitcher of the Week in week three. Whatley extended his hitting streak with a pair of home runs at U.S. Bank Stadium and McGregor moved to 2-0 with a mid-week win at Kansas.
WEEKLY AWARD WINNERS: ORU swept The Summit League weekly honors in week two as Noah Cummings and Miguel Ausua were named Player and Pitcher of the Week. Cummings hit .500 with two home runs, six RBI and a .938 slugging percentage. Ausua limited Alabama to just one run and six strikeouts in six innings securing the weekend sweep.
TOURNAMENT ACCOLADES: The Golden Eagles had three players named to the 30th Dairy Queen Classic all-tournament team in Minneapolis. Matt Whatley (catcher), Nick Roark (2nd base) and Trevor McCutchin (designated hitter) were all named to the team.
POWER FIVE TILTS: Coach Folmar and the Golden Eagles have not shied away from playing the NCAA's top conferences. Over the last three seasons, ORU has posted a 15-9 mark against the Power Five, going 10-3 when facing a team from the Big 12. ORU is 19-20 against teams in Power Five conferences during his tenure.
WALKING OFF: For the first time since April 7, 2009, an ORU hitter provided late-inning fireworks hitting a walk-off home run. In the bottom of the 13th inning Feb. 18 against Little Rock, senior Michael Hungate drove a ball well over the fence in left field for a 4-3 victory.
SEE US NATIONALLY: Thirteen ORU baseball games will be available nationally on ESPN3 with nine home games televised. Al Jerkens will have the live play-by-play call, while former OU pitcher George Frazier will provide color commentary.
PRESEASON ACCOLADES: Senior Brady Womacks was named to the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association Preseason All-America Third Team as well as landing on the NCBWA Stopper of the Year Watch List heading into 2017. The Pevely, Missouri, native led the Golden Eagles with 29 appearances totaling 14 saves with a 1.22 earned run average. His 14 saves ranked second in ORU single-season history.
WHATLEY WATCH: Junior Matt Whatley was named one of the 10 best catching prospects for the 2017 MLB Draft by HERO Sports Baseball. The Claremore, Oklahoma, native was a 2016 ABCA/Rawlings All-Midwest Region Second Team selection hitting .363 for the Golden Eagles. He also was named to the Johnny Bench Award Watch List last season holding opponents to 31 stolen bases and gunning down 14 potential base stealers.
RETURNING DEPTH: ORU boasts one of its most experienced lineups in recent history welcoming back 20 letter winners. Those players back in the navy and gold accounted for more than 70 percent of the run and hit total from 2016, including all but seven of the team's home runs. The pitching staff, behind 12 pitchers back on the roster, returns its winning pitcher from 30 of its 38 victories.
DAUNTING SCHEDULE: ORU again faces a daunting schedule in 2017 taking on three NCAA Tournament teams from a season ago, including two games against Oklahoma State, a College World Series participant. In total, the schedule features seven teams that ended the 2016 campaign ranked in the nation's top 85 by RPI.
HOSTING THE BEST: The top four teams in the league's regular-season standings will qualify for The Summit League Baseball Championship in Tulsa, Oklahoma. As defending champions, ORU is set to host the four-team event at J.L. Johnson Stadium from May 24-27.
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.
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.