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#SummitBSB Weekly Notebook: NCAA Regionals

NORMAN, Okla. – The Oral Roberts Golden Eagles have put their unusually slow start to the 2024 season behind them and are now preparing for their third consecutive appearance in the NCAA Tournament. One year after appearing in the Men's College World Series, ORU will begin this year's postseason at the Norman Regional.

ORU comes to town having won seven of its last 10 games, including three in a row last weekend, to claim the program's 22nd Summit League tournament title and third in a row. Winning the trophy was nothing out of the ordinary for a program that has always managed to reach the title game in 24 total appearances, but finishing below .500 for the first time in program history and doing so as a No. 3 seed was not the normal course of action.

Nevertheless, the Golden Eagles did well on their home field, scoring double-digit runs in all three victories while the pitchers only allowed six earned runs.

ORU opens the regional against ninth-seeded nationally and host Oklahoma at 6 p.m. CT on ESPN+. The Sooners won the 2024 Big 12 regular-season title and split two midweek games with ORU, with the home team coming out on top in each of those games. Connecticut and Duke open the regional with first pitch at noon CT, also on ESPN+.

NCAA NORMAN REGIONAL
Friday, May 31
G1 – Connecticut vs Duke | 12pm
G2 – Oral Roberts vs. Oklahoma | 6pm

Saturday, June 1
G3 – Loser G1 vs. Loser G2 | 2pm
G4 – Winner G1 vs. Winner G2 | 8pm

Sunday, June 2
G5 – Winner G3 vs. Loser G4 | 2pm
G6 – Winner G4 vs. Winner G5 | 8pm

Monday, June 3
G7 – If necessary

Friday's games will be streamed on ESPN+. The rest of the TV/streaming schedule is still to be determined.

TEAM TRACKER
ORAL ROBERTS (27-30-1; 13-15-1 SL) | @ORUBassball

Next up: vs. No. 9 national seed Oklahoma (May 22, 6:00 p.m. CT)
Previous games: vs. (2) North Dakota State (S, 11-3); vs. (4) Northern Colorado (S, 14-0); vs. (4) Northern Colorado (S, 11-4)

• The Golden Eagles were the No. 3 seed in the Summit League Tournament for only the second time in program history. In their previous 23 appearances, ORU was either the No. 1 seed (21 times) or No. 2 seed (twice).
• ORU maintained its streak of never losing a first-round game or failing to reach the title game in 24 tournament appearances.
• As a team, the Golden Eagles posted a .355 batting average in three tournament games, led by center fielder Elijah Rodriguez's .571 batting average. The pitchers allowed just six earned runs in 27 innings, including 30 strikeouts.
• ORU's fourth-place finish in the Summit League standings was the lowest in program history, as the team posted a sub-.500 record in conference play for the first time as a league member.
• Right-hander Jakob Hall was named Summit League Pitcher of the Year for the second consecutive year. Hall has won his last six starts and is one of 15 Division I pitchers with 10 wins this season.
• Hall was one of three Golden Eagles named to All-Summit League First Team honors. He was joined by first baseman Drew Stahl and third baseman Holden Breeze. Each member of that trio also earned a spot on the All-Tournament Team. Hall had eight strikeouts in the win over NDSU and now has 105 this season.
• Stahl was named the championship Most Valuable Player last week after posting a .313 batting average and two home runs, including a grand slam, in the title game against Northern Colorado.
• Breeze hit .417 last week in Tulsa and improved his overall batting average to .353, which ranks second among Summit League players.
• Stahl (56) and Breeze (50) are half of the quartet of Summit League players who have reached 50 RBI this season.
• ORU won the Stillwater Regional as a No. 4 seed last season and defeated Oregon in the Eugene Super Regional to earn the program's second appearance in the Men's College World Series and the first for a member of the Summit League.
• ORU has played Oklahoma twice this season in midweek games, splitting the two games. The Golden Eagles have never played Duke or Connecticut.

#SUMMITBSB

Anna Harden

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