By Jordan Jones
The Oral Roberts University baseball team made an impact in the community early on this season by volunteering at a local blood drive.
The entire team, motivated by the core group of seniors, attended a blood drive hosted by the Oklahoma Blood Institute. They gave blood and even stuck around to help in any way they could. Redshirt senior, Nathan Garza, appreciates the distinctive character this team has already shown in comparison to the past ORU teams. "Each team has a unique personality to it. This team is a little different than other teams in the fact that we have so many new guys. But I think it speaks a lot to the leadership that we had return as well as the younger guys that we had play a lot last year. The team really gelled pretty early," said Garza.
In addition to assisting in the growth and development of the community, volunteering also gave the team a chance to build team chemistry and take their mind off of the game of baseball for even just a few hours.
Junior relief pitcher, Grant Glaze, laughed while recalling the time spent with his team. "Anytime the whole team can get together, it's kind of fun, you have fun with it. You get to be around the guys and make people laugh and support any way we can as a team. It's cool when everybody can get together and push for one thing. I think that's a little more powerful," said Glaze. He also hopes the team can do more in the community as the season progresses, even when time on campus becomes less and less.
Golden Eagles Head Coach Ryan Folmar is proud of the effort his team is making on and off the field especially in the way they improve their community. He appreciates the motivation shown by his players to lend a hand. "The continuing theme we have inside our program is to somehow give back each and every way that you can. For us, that [blood drive] was a pretty simple way to give back. I think it's not only player driven, but obviously it's an emphasis that we put in our program as well," he said.
Redshirt senior shortstop Trevin Sonnier understands the importance of volunteering whenever possible, especially when in a position of importance. "It's nice to do something for the community. We have a great opportunity to play baseball at one of the highest levels and we recognize that we are really blessed to do that, but we want to give back to the community and try to make life better and help wherever we can for other people - We want to try to be Christ-like in every area that we can."
ORU Athletics will once again partner with the Oklahoma Blood Institute and will host a blood drive Tuesday, April 5 from 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. at Fireside.
The event will be staffed by ORU women's basketball and women's tennis players and all donors will receive an OBI T-Shirt, a free pizza coupon from Papa John's and free sub sandwiches.
While walk-ins are welcome, donors are encouraged to call 877-340-8777 to schedule their life-saving appointment.
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.