Baseball hosts SEMO on Friday to begin season
TULSA, Okla. – Opening Day of the 2014 Oral Roberts University baseball season is set to begin Friday afternoon as the Golden Eagles host Southeast Missouri State in a three-game set at J.L. Johnson Stadium. First pitch Friday is scheduled for 3 p.m., with game two on Saturday beginning at 2 and Sunday’s matchup is set for 1.
ORU finished the 2013 season with a 25-32 overall mark. The Golden Eagles dropped their final two contests to Central Arkansas in the Southland Conference Tournament, 6-5 and 11-3. After finishing the conference schedule tied for third at 16-11, the Golden Eagles topped Stephen F. Austin in the first round of the tournament 4-2 and Texas A&M-Corpus Christi 6-1 in the second game.
The Redhawks of Southeast Missouri State closed last season with 26-33 overall mark and 13-17 record in Ohio Valley Conference contests. SEMO won its first round contest in the OVC tournament 9-6 against Belmont, before falling into the losers bracket with a 5-1 loss to Tennessee Tech. The Redhawks rebounded with another victory over Belmont, 2-1, before their season came to an end against Eastern Kentucky with a 9-12 loss.
The Golden Eagles are picked to finish the 2014 Southland campaign in third place by the league’s sports information directors and fourth by the coaches. SEMO is tabbed to finish sixth in the OVC.
ORU returns 21 letterwinners from last season, including All-Southland selections Tyler Boss and Jose Trevino who were both named to the Third Team. Both players were listed as Preseason All-Southland selections as Boss was named to the First Team and Trevino was on the Second Team, while the duo picked up honors as the Preseason All-Southland First Team members by College Sports Madness.
Boss, a junior from Spring, Texas, finished last season with a .295 average, 56 hits, 32 runs batted in and seven home runs. The senior compiled a .479 slugging percentage, the seventh highest in the Southland.
A native of Corpus Christi, Texas, Trevino led the Golden Eagles with eight home runs, fourth in the league, and hit .241 with 37 runs batted in.
For SEMO, junior second baseman Jason Blum was named a Louisville Slugger Preseason All-American by Collegiate Baseball. Blum hit .323 with 21 doubles and 33 runs batted in for the Redhawks last season. He was also named to the CSM All-OVC Second Team with teammates Matt Tellor and Dalton Hewitt, with Derek Gibson picking up a First Team selection.
Last season, the Redhawks spoiled ORU’s attempt to sweep the three-game series in Cape Girardeau, Mo. as Branden Boggetto laid down a bases loaded bunt with two outs to score Hewitt for the walk-off single, giving SEMO a 6-5 victory. Boss shined in the first two games of the series, recording two hits and two RBI’s in the 3-1 victory in game one, and ripping a two-run double in game to en route to a 4-3 Golden Eagle win.
The all-time series between the two programs is knotted up at four games apiece. The Redhawks took two of three from the Golden Eagles at J.L. Johnson Stadium in 1997.