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Baseball Heads to South Dakota State for Weekend Series

Baseball Heads to South Dakota State for Weekend Series

The Basics
Oral Roberts (29-16, 18-6) at South Dakota State (19-28, 12-12)
Location: Brookings, S.D. | Erv Huether Field
Game Links: Live Stats | Audio
Notes: ORU | SDSU

TULSA, Okla. - Oral Roberts baseball heads to South Dakota State for a Summit League series with the Jackrabbits starting Friday at 3 p.m. The Golden Eagles and SDSU will wrap up the series Saturday and Sunday with both games scheduled to begin at 1 p.m. 

Geoff Haxton will have the radio call on AM 1550 in the Tulsa area and around the world for free through Fans can also follow along via Twitter @ORUBaseball for live updates throughout the game. 

The Golden Eagles lead the all-time series with South Dakota State, 28-12. ORU has won six of the last 10 meetings between the two schools, including two straight. The Jackrabbits opened the Summit League schedule in Tulsa, taking the Friday night game at J.L. Johnson Stadium 3-2 in twelve innings before the Golden Eagles won the final two games of the season to take the series.

The Golden Eagles are led by sophomores Noah Cummings and Matt Whatley. The duo are both tops on the team in hitting with Cummings hitting at a clip of .363 and Whatley just behind at .353. Whatley, a Claremore, Oklahoma native, has 20 extra-base hits on the season including 10 doubles, three triples and seven home runs. He also sits atop the squad with a .571 slugging percentage. Brent Williams leads the team with 45 RBI and seven home runs. The junior has 53 base hits for a .303 average.

The Golden Eagles are coming off a series sweep of Western Illinois over the weekend at J.L. Johnson Stadium. The sweep padded the team's four-game lead in the Summit League Standings with six games remaining on the docket. ORU will travel to third-place SDSU May 13-15 before heading to second-place Omaha to close out the regular season.

Junior transfer Brady Womacks has cemented himself as the team's go-to guy when things get tough. The right-hander has made a team-high 22 appearances out of the bullpen recorded nine saves which is tops in the Summit League and 38th nationally. With his nine saves on the season, he has cemented himself in the ORU record book in single-season saves, tied for ninth with Jeff Eddings.

The Golden Eagles have been keen to getting out of trouble when opponents put runners on base this season, turning 37 double plays on the year. Against Little Rock, ORU was able to turn nine during the series.

ORU ranks tops in the Summit League and 19th nationally with 104 doubles. Against Kansas State, the Golden Eagles went for six doubles, including two by senior Chase Stafford who leads the club with 16 on the season. Stafford ranks 32nd in the nation in the category and of his 37 base hits, 17 are two-baggers.

Both Matt Whatley and Noah Cummings sit in the top-5 in the Summit League in batting average. Cummings is second with a .363 average while Whatley sits at fifth at .353, respectively.

Redshirt senior Nick Wood leads the League with a 2.11 ERA in his 10 starts on the season. Wood has allowed only 13 earned runs in 55.1 innings of work. Freshman Josh McMinn isn't far behind with a 3.21 ERA. The Oklahoma City native boasts a 5-2 record with only two starts.

Sophomore catcher Matt Whatley has been named to the 2016 Johnny Bench Award Watch List as announced by the Greater Wichita Area Sports Commission. Whatley was one of 74 catchers named to the watch list for the Johnny Bench Award which is given annually to the top Division I collegiate catcher. Whatley was the only catcher from the Summit League to be named to the prestigious list. The watch list will be narrowed down to the semifinalists on May 18 followed by the announcement of the three finalists on June 6. The Johnny Bench Award will be presented on June 30 in Wichita, Kansas at the 19th Annual Greater Wichita Sports Banquet. The award honors Cincinnati Red Hall of Fame catcher Johnny Bench, who was not only one of the greatest catchers of all time but revolutionized the position. He was the first catcher to use a protective helmet in the field, popularized catching one-handed and kept his throwing hand behind his back.

Redshirt senior Trevin Sonnier has been named to the 2016 Brooks Wallace Shortstop of the Year Watch List as announced by the National College Baseball Hall of Fame on Thursday. The Brooks Wallace Award, sponsored by Mizuno, honors the top college shortstop in the nation and will be presented as a part of the Night of Champions, an annual celebration that will take place in Lubbock, Texas on July 2. The Nederland, Texas native is currently among the Summit League leaders in runs scored (31), hits (43) and stolen bases (8) while hitting .312 with a .391 on-base percentage. He has committed just seven errors in 161 fielding chances this season and has been involved in 22 double plays in 38 games.

Oral Roberts junior Brady Womacks was one of 40 players named to the Stopper of the Year Award Midseason Watch List, announced by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association. A product of Pevely, Missouri, Womacks is 2-1 with seven saves and a 0.36 ERA in 19 appearances. The right-hander has allowed just 20 hits in 24.2 innings of work, while fanning 20 batters. Womacks' eight saves place him atop the Summit League and in a tie for ninth place on the Golden Eagles' single-season charts.

Oral Roberts Head Coach Ryan Folmar eclipsed the 100-win mark over the in March with a 14-5 victory over Little Rock. He became the sixth coach in program history to reach 100-wins.

The 2015 squad topped the 30-win plateau for the second straight year. The two-straight 30-win seasons were accompanied for the first time in as many years with a berth to the NCAA Tournament.

For the latest information on ORU baseball, follow @ORUBaseball on Twitter or go to Fans can also receive updates on the team by downloading the Golden Eagles Front Row App at or in the App Store.