Oral Roberts (8-6, 0-0 Summit League) vs. South Dakota State (2-14, 0-0 Summit League)
Location: Tulsa, Okla. (J.L. Johnson Stadium)
Game One: Friday, Mar. 16 – 6:30 p.m.
Game Two: Saturday, Mar. 17 – 2 p.m.
Game Three: Sunday, Mar. 18 – 1 p.m.
Game Links: Friday Video | Saturday/Sunday Video | Audio | Live Stats
TULSA, Okla. – The Oral Roberts baseball team welcomes South Dakota State to J.L. Johnson Stadium for the first weekend of Summit League action March 16-18. The three-game series gets started Friday night with live coverage on ESPN3 at 6:30 p.m. and continues Saturday afternoon at 2 p.m. before the finale Sunday at 1 p.m. available on the ORU Sports Network.
THE STORYLINE: The Golden Eagles begin Summit League play at home after giving up two runs in the ninth to drop a 6-5 game at Missouri State Tuesday. ORU has lost three of its last four entering the weekend series. South Dakota State was swept in a four-game set at Northern Colorado last weekend and lost six straight.
FACING THE JACKRABBITS: ORU has controlled the all-time series against SDSU holding a 39-13 record in the previous 52 meetings dating back to 1971. The Golden Eagles took down the Jackrabbits, 5-3, in the 2017 Summit League Championships and won 13 of the last 14 with SDSU, including eight-consecutive at home.
KEIZ ON THE RISE: ORU catcher and first baseman Riley Keizor enters his first Summit League series on an offense tear as the reigning conference player of the week. The redshirt sophomore has two hits in each of his last four games, all on the road, to raise his season batting average to .370. He has hit safely in 12 of 14 appearances in 2018, while shown off his arm strength defensively by throwing out five of 10 potential base stealers.
BULLPEN BRILLIANCE: ORU's bullpen continues to be one of its biggest assets in 2018 combining for a 2.62 earned run average with 61 strikeouts in 55 innings of work. Closer Kyler Stout has five saves in six appearances, ranking 11th in the NCAA.
SUMMIT HONORS: ORU swept The Summit League weekly honors for the second time in 2018 as Riley Keizor and Kyler Stout were named Player and Pitcher of the week, respectively. Keizor hit .476 (7-for-15) with two RBI, a double and a run scored, while Stout picked up a save and win in relief totaling six strikeouts in 3.1 innings.
SWEEP THE SUMMIT: Sophomore Spencer Henson and senior Justin McGregor were named Summit League Player and Pitcher of the Week following a sweep of Utah opening weekend. Henson hit .556 with four RBI to lead the offense, while McGregor struck out six in five innings of a scoreless start moving to 10-0 in his ORU career.
NATIONAL PRESEASON HONORS: Miguel Ausua, the reigning Summit League Pitcher of the Year, was named to the NCBWA Preseason All-American First Team as he returns from a 2017 campaign where he ranked third in the nation with 11 wins. Noah Cummings, last year's Summit League Player of the Year, landed on the second team following a 70-RBI season as a junior.
HOME COOKING: The 2018 schedule is front loaded with home games as ORU will play its first 10 games at J.L. Johnson Stadium between Feb. 16 and Mar. 7. With Coach Folmar at the helm, the Golden Eagles have tallied a 104-48 (.684) record in home games and won 20 or more in each of the last three seasons.
TOUGH SLATE: ORU has another challenging schedule in 2018 facing four teams that advanced to a NCAA Regional totaling 10 of its 55 games. The slate also features matchups with three Power Five conferences; Pac 12, Big 12 and Big 10.
ESPN'S TOP PLAYS: In a span of two months last season, ORU recorded three, top 10 plays on ESPN's Sportscenter, more than any other collegiate baseball team in America. Nick Roark (2/28), Cal Hernandez (3/21) and Noah Cummings (4/18) all represented the Golden Eagles on the nationally-televised segment showcasing superb defense.
STREAK CONTINUES: The Golden Eagles won their 17th-straight regular season title in The Summit League in 2017. ORU went on to win three-consecutive games in the conference tournament, highlighted by Ausua's complete-game shutout in the championship to secure its 18th title in a row.
CLEAN SWEEP: The Golden Eagles cleaned up in the 2017 Summit League postseason awards winning all four major honors with Noah Cummings (Player of the Year), Miguel Ausua (Pitcher of the Year), Dylan Snypes (Newcomer of the Year) and Ryan Folmar (Coach of the Year). ORU also had a program-record 10 first-team all-league selections and three second-team all-league honorees.
TOP THE SUMMIT: After earning The Summit League's automatic bid, ORU made its 27th all-time appearance in the NCAA Regionals. The Golden Eagles eliminated Oklahoma State in game two giving Coach Folmar his first-career NCAA victory, before falling to host Arkansas.
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 19-14 mark against the Power Five, going 14-6 when facing a team from the Big 12. ORU is 23-25 against teams in Power Five conferences during his tenure, including a 9-3 mark in home games.
SEE US NATIONALLY: Nine ORU baseball home games will be available nationally on ESPN3. Scott Higgins will have the live play-by-play call, while former OU pitcher George Frazier and ORU catcher Erik Hansen will provide color commentary and sideline reporting from J.L. Johnson Stadium. Select other games also will be available via regional broadcasts on Fox Sports and ESPN3.
HOSTING THE BEST: The top four teams in The Summit League's regular season standings will qualify for the 2018 Summit League Baseball Championship hosted in Tulsa, Oklahoma, for the third-straight season. ORU will host the double-elimination event at J.L. Johnson Stadium May 23-26.
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 on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.
WHERE TO CATCH US: Listen live to every ORU baseball game in 2018 with Adam Hildebrandt 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.