Oral Roberts (23-15, 13-5 Summit League) vs. Western Illinois (10-22, 7-7 Summit League)
Location: Tulsa, Okla. (J.L. Johnson Stadium)
Game One: Friday, Apr. 27 – 6:30 p.m. ($1 Hot Dogs / Post-Game Movie Night)
Game Two: Saturday, Apr. 28 – 2 p.m.
Game Two: Sunday, Apr. 29 – 1 p.m.
Game Links: Friday Video (ESPN3 / KGEB TV-53 Tulsa) | Saturday / Sunday Video | Audio | Live Stats
TULSA, Okla. – The Oral Roberts baseball team hosts Western Illinois for a three-game Summit League series at J.L. Johnson Stadium April 27-29 looking to extend its lead in the conference standings. The Golden Eagles and Leathernecks begin the action Friday night at 6:30 p.m. on ESPN3 and KGEB TV-53 Tulsa, while the rest of the series will be carried live on the ORU Sports Network.
THE STORYLINE: The Golden Eagles used a series win over South Dakota State to take control of The Summit League standings last weekend. ORU has won six of their last seven games and held opponents to just 2.6 runs per game during that stretch entering a three-game series against Western Illinois.
FACING THE LEATHERNECKS: ORU owns a 74-11 record against WIU in the all-time series dating back to 1986, including a 42-2 mark in games played at J.L. Johnson Stadium. The Golden Eagles lost their first-ever series to the Leathernecks in early April at Macomb, Illinois, but have still claimed 24 of the previous 28 contests.
MILESTONE WIN: Head Coach Ryan Folmar picked up the 200th win of his career last Sunday against South Dakota State. He is the fifth coach in program history to reach the milestone and did so in just his sixth season leading the team. His all-time record now stands at 200-126 (.613).
IN THE (STRIKE) ZONE: The Golden Eagles' weekend rotation put together one their best series of the year combining for just three earned run in 19.2 innings against South Dakota State. The trio have baffled league opponents posting a 1.71 ERA over the past three weekends totaling a 2.71 combined ERA in Summit League action.
ESPN'S TOP PLAYS: Harrison Smith joined the growing list of ORU baseball players featured on ESPN's SportsCenter with the No. 1 play (4/13). Last season, the Golden Eagles recorded three, top 10 plays, more than any other collegiate baseball team in America during the two-month span. Nick Roark (2/28), Cal Hernandez (3/21) and Noah Cummings (4/18) all represented the Golden Eagles on the nationally-televised segment.
FEELING RIGHT AT HOME: The Golden Eagles have enjoyed tremendous success at home this season posting a 17-5 record at J.L. Johnson Stadium, including a perfect 9-0 mark in Summit League action. Miguel Ausua and Grant Townsend are both 4-0 at home for ORU. Spencer Henson has .397 batting average with 27 RBI in 21 home appearances.
HOLD 'EM BACK: The back end of the ORU bullpen has been electric all season with the emergence of Kyler Stout, Brady Womacks and Grant Townsend. The trio has combined to punch out 100 opponents in 65.2 innings of work averaging 13.71 strikeouts per nine inning pitched. They have totaled a 6-1 record with nine saves.
LEAD-OFF WINNER: ORU lead-off hitter Nick Roark was named Summit League Player of the Week April 23 as he matched his career high with four hits against SDSU. He hit .474 with six RBI, three runs, two doubles and a pair of walks.
NO-HIT BID LANDS WEEKLY AWARD: Miguel Ausua landed his third career Pitcher of the Week honor April 16 after narrowly missing a no-hitter against Fort Wayne. The senior allowed one hit and one run over seven innings for his fifth win of the year.
FOURTH TIME FOR NOAH: Senior Noah Cummings landed the fourth Summit League Player of the Week honor of his career April 2. He hit .400 for the week with six RBI, four runs, two doubles, one home run and one stolen base, while totaling a .733 slugging percentage.
SUMMIT HONORS: ORU swept The Summit League weekly honors March 12 with Riley Keizor and Kyler Stout. 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: Spencer Henson and Justin McGregor were named Summit League Player and Pitcher of the Week opening weekend. Henson hit .556 with four RBI to lead the offense, while McGregor struck out six in five innings of a scoreless start.
POWER FIVE TILTS: Coach Folmar and the Golden Eagles have not shied away from playing the NCAA's top conferences. Since the start of the 2015 season, ORU has posted a 24-17 mark against the Power Five, going 15-8 when facing a team from the Big 12. ORU is an even 28-28 against teams in Power Five conferences during his tenure, including a 13-5 mark in home games.
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 was front loaded with home games as ORU played 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 107-48 (.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.
STREAK CONTINUES: The Golden Eagles won their 17th-straight regular season title in The Summit League in 2017. ORU won 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.
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 George Frazier, Erik Hansen and Scott Slarks 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.