Oral Roberts (5-1, 0-0 Summit League) vs. SIUE (2-4, 0-0 Ohio Valley)
Location: Tulsa, Okla. (J.L. Johnson Stadium)
Game One: Friday, Mar. 2 – 3 p.m.
Game Two: Saturday, Mar. 3 – 2 p.m.
Game Three: Sunday, Mar. 4 – 1 p.m.
Game Links: Video | Audio | Live Stats
TULSA, Okla. – An extended homestand continues for the Oral Roberts baseball team as it plays host to SIUE for three games March 2-4 at J.L. Johnson Stadium. Game one is set for 3 p.m. Friday and game two to follow Saturday at 2 p.m., while the finale is slated for Sunday afternoon at 1 p.m. Coverage for each contest will be available for free on the ORU Sports Network.
THE STORYLINE: The Golden Eagles have won five of their first six games at home after having to rally again for a mid-week victory over Central Arkansas Tuesday. It was the third, one-run win this season for ORU on Cal Hernandez's eighth-inning home run. SIUE comes to Tulsa having dropped two of three games last weekend at Louisiana Tech and was out-scored 19-7 in the series.
FACING THE COUGARS: ORU holds a 10-2 all-time record against SIUE (Southern Illinois University Edwardsville) with every game being played at J.L. Johnson Stadium. The Golden Eagles last met the Cougars for a three-game series in 2015 taking all three contests by a combined score of 31-12.
CALL TO THE BULLPEN: ORU's bullpen has been a high point in 2018 combining for a 1.52 earned run average with 28 strikeouts in 23.2 innings of work. Newcomers Grant Townsend and Tanner Rogen have quickly found rhythm picking up two wins each for the Golden Eagles in four total relief appearances.
LIMIT FREE PASSES: Through six games, the Golden Eagles rank 25th in the nation with a 3.57 strikeout-to-walk ratio. ORU pitchers have fanned 50 hitters in 54 innings, while walking just 14.
TURNING TWO: ORU is one of the top teams in the nation defensively and after its middle infielders turned three doubles play Tuesday, the team now has 10 in six games. Its 1.67 double plays per game is fifth in the NCAA.
NATIONAL PRESEASON HONORS: Miguel Ausua, the reigning Summit League Pitcher of the Year, was named to the NCBWA Preseason All-American First Team as he returns from a 2017 campaign 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 a sweep of Utah opening weekend. 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 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 102-46 (.689) 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 weekend with the Cougars sixth holding a 1.83 ERA.
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.
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.