TULSA, Okla. – Oral Roberts baseball will try to extend its seven-game win streak heading to Springfield, Missouri, Tuesday for a regional matchup against Missouri State with first pitch scheduled for 6:30 p.m.
THE STORYLINE: The Golden Eagles have won seven straight following a Summit League weekend sweep of South Dakota State to remain perfect in conference play. ORU plays its first road game since March 8 and enters the mid-week contest ranked 79th in the latest RPI standings, while Missouri State is 39th.
FACING THE BEARS: ORU has faced Missouri State 52 times during the all-time series dating back to 1979. The Golden Eagles own a 30-22 record over the Bears, but dropped two straight, including a 9-5 loss Feb. 21. ORU has won three of the last four meetings in Springfield.
NATIONAL RANKINGS: After eight home runs over the last four games, the Golden Eagles jumped to 17th in the nation for home runs hit with 28. They have hit at least one home run in 17 of 23 games this season. ORU also ranks 36th in the NCAA behind a .978 fielding percentage.
FREE BASES: During a 13-inning game Friday, ORU drew a season-high 13 walks. It was the most in a single game since a 16-walk game at Little Rock March 24, 2015. The Golden Eagles and Jackrabbits also combined for 26 walks, more than any other game in at least 20 years at ORU.
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.