On Thursday nights, 15 ORU baseball players sit in the locker room for over two hours. They hold a Bible study that starts with just one question and rabbit trails off of that. The players talk about what is going on in their personal lives and build each other up in the Lord.
“Every single year you go in and you get 35 new brothers,” said Alex Sevensky, a redshirt junior who started this weekly Bible study in the fall with just two other players.
To Sevensky, the best part about being on the ORU baseball team is the community. From coaches to players, a combination of talent, hard work and a culture of excellence makes this baseball club 19-time Summit League tournament champions.
ORU baseball started its 2020 season this February with a 2-1 win over Merrimack and ended up splitting the opening four-game series. An RBI infield single by senior Anthony Martinez broke the tie in the bottom of the eighth sending Jordan Wiley to home.
ORU baseball won the Summit League in 2018, and a preseason poll of league head coaches found that ORU is the favorite to win the Summit League this season. New ORU players, Adam Oviedo and Kaleb McCullogh, were selected as “Players to Watch.” Oviedo crushed a three-run home run over the left-field wall in the fourth game of the opening series against Merrimack, and McCullogh sealed both save opportunities in the series.
“This year we have a really incredible level of talent, but even moreso I feel like so many of our guys are really starting to find their ground with God as well,” Sevensky said.
During the off season, the club has weights at 6 a.m. every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Most players will then go to morning and afternoon classes and afterward will have practice for three to four hours before getting dinner, doing homework, going to bed and starting over.
Sevensky explained that it can be difficult to get sleep during the season, as long bus rides and doubleheaders are common, but ORU players have to make certain to keep a healthy diet and sleep schedule.
The ORU Baseball coaches are admired by their team. They help players to improve on a daily basis, and their leadership is key to the Golden Eagles’ success, according to players.
“I feel like in a lot of other programs the fear of failure and the fear of not living up to the expectations is really high, and it allows more players to play scared. And I feel like with us we’re in a safe place where we can fail, we can learn and we can know that our coaches always have our backs,” Sevensky said.
Head coach Ryan Folmar heads into his eighth season as the ORU head coach. In his tenure as head coach, ORU has a .608 win percentage. ORU hopes to carry that success into the 2020 baseball season and to head to its first College World Series since 1978.