TULSA, Okla. - The Oral Roberts baseball team finally takes to the field on Friday as they host defending Atlantic 10 regular season champions Saint Louis in a three game set. First pitch of the 2013 season is set 3 p.m. at J.L. Johnson Stadium.
There are a lot of expectations for both programs heading into the season, as the Golden Eagles take 15 consecutive Mid-Continent/Summit League championships into the powerful Southland Conference, and the Billikens continue to grow with the expectation of reaching a NCAA regional and defending their A-10 title.
The Billikens return seven starters from a year ago, including two impact seniors at the plate in Alex Kelly and Grant Nelson who finished 2012 with .326 and .314 averages, respectively. They are complimented on the mound by fellow senior Alex Alemann who is just one win shy of the Saint Louis school record for wins.
Between the two programs, the six probable starters combined for a total of 59 victories last season. The trio of Drew Bowen, Kurt Giller and Alex Gonzalez with the Golden Eagles tallied 19 victories, while Alemann, junior Clay Smith and sophomore Nick Bates earned 20 wins for the Billikens.
Previously members of the Midwestern City Conference, the Golden Eagles lead the overall series against the Billikens, 24-1, with the lone SLU victory coming in the first matchup in 1973.
Game two of the series is set to begin at 2 p.m. on Saturday, while the final contest is schedule for 1 on Sunday afternoon.