Picked to finish first and second in the preseason polls, Oral Roberts and Omaha have both lived up to the billing in the early going, having dropped just one conference game between the two teams entering this weekend's series. The two teams will clash at J.L. Johnson Stadium for three games in an important Summit League matchup.
Friday's game will be Military Appreciation Night, honoring former ORU baseball player Ryan Iannelli, a Marine pilot who was killed in Afghanistan in 2011.
First pitch Friday is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. from J.L. Johnson Stadium, while Saturday's game will begin at 2 p.m. The series finally will start at 1 p.m. on Sunday.
Live stats and video will be available for each game on ORUAthletics.com.
Out of the Box
• ORU topped UALR Tuesday night in a 15-2 run-rule affair. ORU showed plenty of patience at the plate, earning 16 walks and seven extra base hits, including a grand slam by Anthony Sequeira in the first inning.
• Last weekend, ORU earned a three game Summit League sweep of IPFW, scoring a combined 36 runs in the three victories. Although the teams used to play four game series, it was the first series sweep of the Mastodons since the 2009 season.
• With the Golden Eagles going 4-1 last week, including the sweep of IPFW and a win over No. 12 Texas Tech, Nick Roark's bat came to life, hitting .500 (11-22) for the week with seven runs scored and four RBI. Chase Stafford also had a great week, hitting .333 (7-21) with four runs scored and a team-leading 12 RBI. Stafford had three RBI all season entering the week and combined for 10 RBI in the first two games against IPFW.
• ORU is now 8-2 in its last 10 games, with wins over Oklahoma and No. 12 Texas Tech. During that time, ORU is hitting .320 as a team, led by Matt Whatley's .395 clip. Whatley has 17 hits, five extra base hits, 13 RBI and 14 runs scored during that time.
• Audie Afenir (.357) and Rolando Martinez (.353) are fourth and fifth in the Summit League in batting average, whileAnthony Sequeira is fourth in the league with three home runs. Afenir leads the league with nine doubles this year, already surpassing his total from all of last year (7).
• The ORU pitching staff is at the top of the stats as well, with Guillermo Trujillo and Kurt Giller each tying for first in the league in wins (3), while Giller is fourth with a 2.78 ERA. Xavier Altamirano is tied for second with 34 strikeouts.