TULSA, Okla. - The Oral Roberts baseball team will look for its first victory of the season Wednesday as it plays host to Wichita State at 3 p.m. at J.L. Johnson Stadium.
The ORU Athletics ticket office is offering a buy one-get one promotion for the home opener. Fans can purchase tickets at the ticket office or by calling (918) 495-7ORU (7678).
SCOUTING THE SHOCKERS
Wichita State is coming off a 26-33 record in 2015, finishing tied for third in the Missouri Valley Conference with a 10-11 record. WSU returns 15 letter winners from last year including six position starters. Last year the Shockers had plenty of success at home, going 20-14 in those games while struggling on the road with a record of 6-19.
The Shockers picked up a series win over Northern Colorado last weekend after taking the first two games of the series by a combined score of 28-2. Tanner Kirk (.714) and Trey Vickers (.500) combined for 10 of WSU's 34 hits on the weekend. Twelve players recorded RBI's, including four players with four RBI games.
In the Missouri Valley preseason poll, Wichita State was picked to finish third in the conference again, including picking up one first place vote. Missouri State and Dallas Baptist were picked ahead of the Shockers.
The Shockers hold a 33-28 lead in the all-time series. WSU has picked up wins in each of the last two games played in Kansas, but ORU won the last game at J.L Johnson Stadium, 9-4, on April 9, 2014.
ORU'S WEDNESDAY PROBABLE
Junior transfer Logan Michaels will get the nod for Tuesday's home opener at J.L. Johnson Stadium. The right-hander played two years at Seminole State College in Oklahoma before making his way to Tulsa. Last season, Michaels tossed 52 and a third innings in 10 starts for a 4.47 ERA. He also helped the Seminoles to a 39-17 and was Region II championship.
WSU'S WEDNESDAY PROBABLE
The Shockers will also give the Tuesday start to another Seminole State transfer in Tyler Gibson. The right-hander started 10 games last season, going 7-2 with a 2.45 ERA. He also struck out 58 batters and walked only 11 in 73 and a third innings.
MANNING THE BACKSTOP
Sophomore catcher Matt Whatley headlined the national stage for ORU last season. Whatley became the 14th Golden Eagle to earn Freshman All-America honors and the first to do so since 2012 when Jose Trevino earned the honor. He was tabbed a Freshman All-American by four publications including Perfect Game USA, Collegiate Baseball, D1Baseball.com and Baseball America. Whatley led ORU in hitting with a .355 average earning Summit League Newcomer of the Year honors and First Team All-Summit League accolades at catcher. His 44 RBI were second most among the Golden Eagles and finished the season with a .528 slugging percentage and .437 on base percentage. He also led ORU with 56 runs scored which also ranked in the top-50 nationally adding, three triples and 16 stolen bases.
LOOKING BACK ON THE WEEKEND
The Golden Eagles dropped two non-conference games to Indiana State over the weekend in Little Rock. Newcomer Michael Hungate led the team with a .375 average, going 3-for-8 on the weekend, including a double.
MR. FRIDAY NIGHT
One of just a few returning pitchers with experience for the Golden Eagles, sophomore Bryce Howe made his first start of the season Friday against Indiana State in Little Rock. The right-hander went for six innings, allowing three earned runs and striking out three on his way to a no decision.
TURNING THE CORNER
After battling injury for much of the 2015 season and pitching only 3.2 innings, Nick Wood made his first career start Saturday for ORU. The redshirt senior tossed five shutout innings while allowing only three hits and striking out two.
MAKE EM' COUNT
In the team's opening series of the season, Nick Roark (2-for-9, .222) connected on two home runs, the first of his career. In the team's second at bat of the season, Roark launched a ball to left field to give ORU a 1-0 lead. The next day, in a scoreless game in the eighth inning, Roark broke the scoreless streak with a home run to center field. Matt Whatley would give the team back-to-back home runs as he sent a ball out in the very next at bat.
COACH EYES 100
Oral Roberts Head Coach Ryan Folmar needs just four wins to eclipse the 100-win plateau entering 2016. At a 96-76 career record over three years with the Navy and Gold, he would become the sixth coach in program history to reach the 100-win mark.
The Golden Eagles will head south to Texas for a three-game series with Dallas Baptist starting Friday.
For the latest information on ORU baseball, follow @ORUBaseball on Twitter or go to www.ORUAthletics.com. Fans can also receive updates on the team by downloading the Golden Eagles Front Row App at ORUAthletics.com/frontrow or in the App Store.