TULSA, Okla. – The Oral Roberts baseball team returns to action after its longest break of the season playing host to Fort Wayne for a three-game series this weekend. The Golden Eagles and Mastodons now are scheduled for a doubleheader Friday at 3 p.m. with the third game set for Saturday at 2 p.m.
THE STORYLINE: The Golden Eagles are back at J.L. Johnson Stadium for a Summit League series against Fort Wayne having won nine of their last 11 games. ORU extended its lead in the conference standings to six games by taking two of three at South Dakota State last weekend.
FACING THE MASTODONS: ORU holds a commanding 33-6 mark in the all-time series after a three-game sweep at Fort Wayne April 7-9. The Golden Eagles have never dropped a series to the Mastodons in program history dating back to the first meeting in 2008.
POWER NUMBERS: Noah Cummings continues to climb the NCAA rankings in the power stats after hitting his league-leading 11th home run at SDSU. The junior sits 22nd in the NCAA with 48 RBI as 20 of those have come via the long ball, but his 1.23 RBI per game ranks 10th nationally.
PITCHING RANKS: ORU's pitchers have combined for the 20th-best earned run average in the nation at 3.30. Miguel Ausua ranks in the top 10 in the country with seven wins in 10 starts for the Golden Eagles. Josh McMinn, Ausua and Justin McGregor are the only three starters in The Summit League with a sub-three ERA to pace the conference.
ROAD READY: Starting April 4 in Norman, the Golden Eagles will travel roughly 3,600 miles for 18 contests during the final weeks of the season. ORU is back on the road for its longest trip of the year heading to Fargo, North Dakota, next weekend.
MILESTONE WIN: March 26 against South Dakota State, ORU Head Coach Ryan Folmar picked up his 150th career victory after a 6-2 win. His record now stands at 153-103 (.598) in his fifth season leading the Golden Eagles.
FREE BASES: During a 13-inning game March 24, ORU drew a season-high 13 walks against South Dakota State. It was the most in a single game since a 16-walk effort at Little Rock March 24, 2015. The Golden Eagles and Jackrabbits also combined for 26 walks, more than any other game in at least 20 years at ORU.
HONOR FOR GLAZE: Senior Grant Glaze picked up his first-career Summit League Pitcher of the Week honor after a career day at SDSU. He threw five shutout innings in long relief striking out eight for his third win of the season.
TOP THE SUMMIT AGAIN: For the second time this season, Noah Cummings and Justin McGregor were named Summit League Player and Pitcher of the Week, respectively. Cummings accounted for 15 runs during a perfect 4-0 week, while McGregor threw ORU's first complete game in 2017 at Omaha.
THIRD TIME THE CHARM: ORU landed both the Summit League Player and Pitcher of the Week for three-straight weeks March 13 with Dylan Snypes and Josh McMinn earning the honors. Snypes had a pair of three-hit efforts, including his team-leading eighth double, while McMinn pitched eight innings in a win over No. 16 DBU allowing just one earned run.
SUMMIT HONORS: Matt Whatley and Justin McGregor were named Summit League Player and Pitcher of the Week in week three. Whatley extended his hitting streak with a pair of home runs at U.S. Bank Stadium and McGregor moved to 2-0 with a mid-week win at Kansas.
WEEKLY WINNERS: ORU swept The Summit League weekly honors in week two as Noah Cummings and Miguel Ausua were named Player and Pitcher of the Week. Cummings hit .500 with two home runs, six RBI and a .938 slugging percentage. Ausua limited Alabama to just one run and six strikeouts in six innings securing the weekend sweep.
TOURNAMENT ACCOLADES: The Golden Eagles had three players named to the 30th Dairy Queen Classic all-tournament team in Minneapolis. Matt Whatley (catcher), Nick Roark (2nd base) and Trevor McCutchin (designated hitter) were all named to the team.
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 16-10 mark against the Power Five, going 11-4 when facing a team from the Big 12. ORU is 20-21 against teams in Power Five conferences during his tenure.
WALKING OFF: For the first time since April 7, 2009, an ORU hitter provided late-inning fireworks hitting a walk-off home run. In the bottom of the 13th inning Feb. 18 against Little Rock, senior Michael Hungate drove a ball well over the fence in left field for a 4-3 victory.
SEE US NATIONALLY: Thirteen ORU baseball games will be available nationally on ESPN3 with nine home games televised. Al Jerkens will have the live play-by-play call, while former OU pitcher George Frazier and ORU catcher Erik Hansen will provide color commentary.
WHATLEY WATCH: Junior Matt Whatley was named one of the 10 best catching prospects for the 2017 MLB Draft by HERO Sports Baseball. The Claremore, Oklahoma, native was a 2016 ABCA/Rawlings All-Midwest Region Second Team selection hitting .363 for the Golden Eagles.
RETURNING DEPTH: ORU boasts one of its most experienced lineups in recent history welcoming back 20 letter winners. The returners accounted for more than 70 percent of the run and hit total from 2016, including all but seven of the team's home runs. The pitching staff, behind 12 pitchers back on the roster, returns its winning pitcher from 30 of its 38 victories.
DAUNTING SCHEDULE: ORU again faces a daunting schedule in 2017 taking on three NCAA Tournament teams from a season ago, including two games against Oklahoma State, a College World Series participant. The schedule features seven teams that ended the 2016 campaign ranked in the nation's top 85 by RPI.
HOSTING THE BEST: The top four teams in the league's regular-season standings will qualify for The Summit League Baseball Championship in Tulsa, Oklahoma. As defending champions, ORU is set to host the four-team event at J.L. Johnson Stadium from May 24-27.
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.
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.