Oral Roberts (9-9, 3-0 SL) vs. South Dakota State (9-9, 2-1 SL)
Location: Tulsa, Okla. (J.L. Johnson Stadium)
Game One: Friday, Mar. 22 – 6 p.m.
Game Two: Saturday, Mar. 23 – 2 p.m.
Game Three: Sunday, Mar. 24 – 1 p.m.
Game Links: Friday Video (ESPN+/KGEB TV-53) | Saturday/Sunday Video | Live Stats
TULSA, Okla. – It's right back to work in Summit League play for the Oral Roberts baseball team as it welcomes the Jackrabbits of South Dakota State to J.L. Johnson Stadium for a three-game set March 22-24. The series starts Friday night at 6 p.m. on ESPN+ and KGEB TV-53/Cox HD before continuing Saturday at 2 p.m. and Sunday at 1 p.m. live on the ORU Sports Network.
THE STORYLINE: The Golden Eagles open a seven-game stretch at J.L. Johnson Stadium looking to keep pace atop The Summit League standings following a mid-week loss at Central Arkansas Tuesday.
FACING THE JACKRABBITS: SDSU enters week two of the league slate after taking two of three from Western Illinois in a series played at Illinois Springfield. Gus Steiger (.322) and Logan Holtz (.317) pace the Jacks offensively, while Bret Barnett has a 2-0 record and a 0.77 ERA in eight appearances from the bullpen. SDSU was picked to finish second in the league's preseason poll and currently sits one game back of ORU and Omaha in the standings.
SERIES HISTORY: ORU owns a 52-14 record in the all-time series against the Jackrabbits having claimed nine of the previous 10 meetings. The Golden Eagles are 33-6 when facing SDSU at home, including wins in each of the last 13.
WILSON'S SURGE EARNS LEAGUE HONOR: After going 9-for-12 in the sweep of Purdue Fort Wayne, lead-off hitter Hunter Wilson saw his average jump 88 points to take the lead in The Summit League at the time. For his effort, he was rewarded with Summit League Player of the Week honors for the first time in his short ORU career.
BACK, BACK, BACK, GONE: Through 18 games, ORU hitters have combined for 19 home runs going deep in 12 contests, including multi-home run efforts six times. The team ranks 33rd in the nation averaging 1.06 homers per game.
UPHILL CLIMB: Starting with its matchup against Ohio State Feb. 24, ORU capped a difficult stretch where seven-consecutive games were versus teams that reached a NCAA Regional in 2018. The Golden Eagles went 3-4 during that period.
SECOND WEEK AWARD: Senior Josh McMinn earned the fifth pitcher of the week award in his ORU career March 4 following a weekend win over Purdue. The righty struck out six and allowed one run over 8.2 innings without issuing a walk and is now one win away from moving into a tie for eighth place in program history for career wins.
FIRST WEEK, FIRST HONOR: ORU outfielder Andrew Pace earned the first Summit League Player of the Week honor of his career in week one. The senior posted a conference-best .615 batting average and a .846 slugging percentage thanks to multi-hit efforts in all three games, including a career-high four hits in game two.
POWER START: ORU connected for 35 runs on 41 hits, including 15 that went for extra bases, and 17 walks opening weekend. The Golden Eagles capped the series with seven doubles and three home runs Sunday against Murray State.
REIGNING CROWN: For just the fourth time in Summit League history, a player finished the season as the Triple Crown winner (league leader in batting average, home runs and RBI) when Spencer Henson accomplished the feat in 2018. The junior hit .364 with 10 round trippers and 58 RBI joining Steve Holm (2000) and Brian Van Kirk (2008) as Golden Eagles to achieve the milestone.
DRAMATIC FACE LIFT: Fans entering the complex at J.L. Johnson Stadium in 2019 immediately will notice a new LED video board located in right-center field. Measuring 33 feet high and 19 feet wide totaling roughly 625 square feet.
SUMMIT LEAGUE HONOREES RETURN: Spencer Henson and Riley Keizor return to the Golden Eagles lineup after earning First Team All-Summit League honors in 2018, while Josh McMinn is back following a second team selection. McMinn also earned first team honors in 2017. Keizor was named last year's Summit League Newcomer of the Year in his first season at ORU.
NOT SHYING AWAY: ORU put together one of its most difficult schedules to date for 2019. The Golden Eagles face seven teams that advanced to a NCAA Regional a season ago accounting for nearly a third of its 56-game slate. Five of ORU's first eight opponents advanced to the postseason in 2018 providing an early test.
LOCAL TALENT ON DISPLAY: More than half of the ORU roster in 2019 was raised in the state of Oklahoma as 18 players hail from within 120 miles of campus. The freshman recruiting class is heavy with local talent as four of its eight members joined the Golden Eagles from Green Country.
EXTENDED HOME COOKIN': With 21 of its first 28 games all coming at J.L. Johnson Stadium to open the season, the Golden Eagles have a chance to get off to a great start and build momentum for a challenging finish away from home.
MARCHING HOME: ORU will serve as the host team for 17 of its 20 games during the month of March. With Coach Folmar at the helm, ORU has tallied a 124-50 (.713) record in home games and won 20 or more contests in each of the last four seasons, including a mark of 54-6 (.900) at home against teams from The Summit League.
POWER FIVE TILTS: Coach Folmar and the Golden Eagles have taken on the NCAA's top conferences and are scheduled to battle five again in 2019. Since the start of the 2015 season, ORU has posted a 28-20 mark against the Power Five, going 16-8 when facing a team from the Big 12. ORU is 32-31 against teams in Power Five conferences during his tenure, including a 17-5 mark in home games.
KEEP THE STREAK: The Golden Eagles are making a push for their 19th-straight Summit League regular season and 20th-consecutive tournament titles as members of the conference in 2019. ORU has reached 28 NCAA Regionals in program history, including four in a row, including the 1978 College World Series and the 2006 Super Regionals.
MILESTONE WIN: Head Coach Ryan Folmar picked up the 200th win of his career against South Dakota State April 20, 2018. He is the fifth coach in program history to reach the milestone and did so in just his sixth season leading the team.
SEE US NATIONALLY: Nine ORU baseball home games will be available nationally on ESPN+ in 2019. Scott Higgins will have the live play-by-play call, while George Frazier, Erik Hansen and Scott Slarks 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 2019 Summit League Baseball Championship hosted in Tulsa, Oklahoma, for the fourth-straight season. ORU will host the double-elimination event at J.L. Johnson Stadium May 22-25 to determine the league's automatic bid into the NCAA Championships.
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 and #GoldenStandard 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 2019 on the ORU Sports Network. All 30 home games also will 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.