Oral Roberts (4-1, 0-0 Summit League) vs. Missouri State (4-2, 0-0 Missouri Valley)
Location: Tulsa, Okla. (J.L. Johnson Stadium)
Game Date / Time: Tuesday, Feb. 27 / 3 p.m.
Game Links: Video | Audio | Live Stats
TULSA, Okla. – After winning in walk-off fashion to earn a doubleheader split Sunday, the Oral Roberts baseball team looks to build on that momentum Tuesday afternoon facing regional power Missouri State. First pitch is scheduled for 3 p.m. at J.L. Johnson Stadium with live video, audio and stats available on the ORU Sports Network.
THE STORYLINE: The Golden Eagles were limited last week due to weather missing their mid-week and only being able to play twice Sunday against Nevada. ORU rallied back in game two for a walk-off win scoring twice in the ninth to win, 3-2, and split the doubleheader. Missouri State enters the matchup winning its last game with Central Arkansas in come-from-behind fashion to improve to 4-2.
FACING THE BEARS: Despite being matched up in the same NCAA Fayetteville Regional in 2017, the teams did not meet in the postseason. They did play twice a year ago with each team winning on the road. ORU holds a 31-22 all-time record against Missouri State claiming the most recent meeting, a 3-1 victory in Springfield March 28, 2017.
LIMIT FREE PASSES: Through five games, the Golden Eagles rank 40th in the nation with a 3.25 strikeout-to-walk ratio. ORU pitchers have fanned 39 hitters in 45 innings, while walking just 12. Miguel Ausua, Justin McGregor and Grant Townsend each have eight strikeouts to pace the team.
NATIONAL PRESEASON HONORS: A pair of ORU seniors earned coveted spots as Preseason All-Americans by the NCBWA. Miguel Ausua, the reigning Summit League Pitcher of the Year, was named to the first team as he comes back from a 2017 year where he ranked third in the nation with 11 wins. Noah Cummings, last year's Summit League Player of the Year, landed on the second team following a 70-RBI season as a junior.
SWEEP THE SUMMIT: Sophomore Spencer Henson and senior Justin McGregor were named Summit League Player and Pitcher of the Week following the sweep of Utah. Henson hit .556 with four RBI to lead the offense, while McGregor struck out six in five innings of a scoreless start moving to 10-0 in his ORU career.
HOME COOKING: The 2018 schedule is front loaded with home games as ORU will now play its first 10 games at J.L. Johnson Stadium between Feb. 16 and Mar. 7. With Coach Folmar at the helm, the Golden Eagles have tallied a 101-46 (.687) record in home games and won 20 or more in each of the last three seasons.
WELCOME BACK: Nine pitchers are back on campus, including all four starters, after combining for a miniscule 2.49 ERA, which is the best of any team in the NCAA heading into 2018. They also accounted for 88 percent of the win total a year ago. ORU's staff ranked sixth in the nation at the end of 2017 with a 3.06 ERA and enters the contest with the Bears holding a 2.00 ERA.
CALL TO THE BULLPEN: ORU has an experienced bullpen with seniors Kyler Stout and Brady Womacks. Stout closed out 11 games in 2017 with a 1.62 ERA, while Womacks recorded 14 saves in 2016 posting a 1.22 ERA. Newcomers Grant Townsend and Tanner Rogen quickly found rhythm for ORU picking up three wins in three combined relief appearances.
TOUGH SLATE: ORU has another challenging schedule in 2018 facing four teams that advanced to a NCAA Regional totaling 10 of its 55 games. The slate also features matchups with three Power Five conferences; Pac 12, Big 12 and Big 10.
DRAFT DEPARTURES: ORU must replace three players that left when hearing their name in the draft as Matt Whatley, Dylan Snypes and Bryce Howe enter professional careers in 2018. The Golden Eagles also lost offensive cornerstones Brent Williams, Michael Hungate and Sam Grellner to graduation.
ESPN'S TOP PLAYS: In a span of two months last season, ORU recorded three, top 10 plays on ESPN's Sportscenter, more than any other collegiate baseball team in America. Nick Roark (2/28), Cal Hernandez (3/21) and Noah Cummings (4/18) all represented the Golden Eagles on the nationally-televised segment showcasing superb defense.
STREAK CONTINUES: The Golden Eagles won their 17th-straight regular season title in The Summit League in 2017. ORU went on to win three-consecutive games in the conference tournament, highlighted by Ausua's complete-game shutout in the championship to secure its 18th title in a row.
CLEAN SWEEP: The Golden Eagles cleaned up in the 2017 Summit League postseason awards winning all four major honors with Noah Cummings (Player of the Year), Miguel Ausua (Pitcher of the Year), Dylan Snypes (Newcomer of the Year) and Ryan Folmar (Coach of the Year). ORU also had a program-record 10 first-team all-league selections and three second-team all-league honorees.
TOP THE SUMMIT: After earning The Summit League's automatic bid, ORU made its 27th all-time appearance in the NCAA Regionals. The Golden Eagles eliminated Oklahoma State in game two giving Coach Folmar his first-career NCAA victory, before falling to host Arkansas.
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 19-14 mark against the Power Five, going 14-6 when facing a team from the Big 12. ORU is 23-25 against teams in Power Five conferences during his tenure, including a 9-3 mark in home games.
SEE US NATIONALLY: Nine ORU baseball home games will be available nationally on ESPN3. Scott Higgins will have the live play-by-play call, while former OU pitcher George Frazier and ORU catcher Erik Hansen will provide color commentary and sideline reporting from J.L. Johnson Stadium.
HOSTING THE BEST: The top four teams in The Summit League's regular season standings will qualify for the 2018 Summit League Baseball Championship hosted in Tulsa, Oklahoma, for the third-straight season. ORU will host the double-elimination event at J.L. Johnson Stadium May 23-26.
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 on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.
WHERE TO CATCH US: Listen live to every ORU baseball game in 2018 with Adam Hildebrandt on the ORU Sports Network. All 30 home games will also feature free video and stats with links at www.ORUAthletics.com.
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.