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Seniors Ready to Carry the Load at ORU

Seniors Ready to Carry the Load at ORU Seniors Ready to Carry the Load at ORU

Originally Published: Feb 17, 2010 9:31 PM CDT

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Bobby Lewis
Oklahoma Sports Mobile Journalist

TULSA, Oklahoma – ORU has nine seniors on its baseball team this season, and all of them are ready to make an impact in his final season. Led by reigning Summit League Newcomer of the Year, catcher Seth Furmanek, the Golden Eagles take aim at a thirteenth consecutive league title this spring.

“We are dying to play,” said senior utility player P.J. Sequeira. “I can’t wait to see live pitching. We can’t wait to get started.”

The biggest losses are from the mound. The 2009 Player and Pitcher of the Year award winner, Mark Serrano and three other starters all were taken in the Major League Baseball draft. Head coach Rob Walton said he expects the offense to carry the load during the first half of the season, while the pitching figures out who will fill which role.

“Those are huge question marks for us,” Walton said at Wednesday’s media day. “It’s a little bit of an uncomfortable feeling until some guys are able to step up.”

Even the younger players on the Golden Eagles roster are feeling the heat to perform.

“It puts pressure on all of us,” said sophomore pitcher Drew Bowen. “Three of our starters got drafted, so obviously we’re hurting there. Some of us are going to have to step up.”

Senior starting pitcher Jeff Burelson is the top returning pitcher for ORU. The right-hander finished last season with a 3.12 ERA and 3-0 record in 14 appearances. Spencer Roberts, Dale Reneau and Jameson Dunn will also be relied upon to eat up innings for the Golden Eagles.

On offense, Sequeira, infielder Colby Price and 2009 Newcomer of the Year Seth Furmanek will shoulder most of the load at the plate for Oral Roberts. The trio combined to hit .331 with 32 homeruns and 138 RBIs over 138 games last season.

“We try not to focus on the outcomes,” said Furmanek. “Those will come with preparation and hard work and as long as we’re doing that we’ll be okay.”

Tyler Garewal also returns to the lineup after a successful junior season. The speedy outfielder hit .330 with five homeruns and 33 RBIs in 2009.

For Oral Robert’s seniors, the road to a championship starts on the road February 26-28 on the road against Florida International. The Golden Eagles’ first home game is set for 3 p.m., Tuesday March 2nd against Central Arkansas.

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