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Baseball team looks to hit stride as season picks up

As the weather starts to heat up, so does the ORU baseball team. Through 23 games the Golden Eagles are 11-12 overall, but have gained momentum going into the season’s halfway point.

The season started slow for the Golden Eagles. They went 4-6 in their first 10 games, but have recently began to pick up their game. Their most recent success was a 3-0 shutout win over No. 28 University of Oklahoma.

Head Coach Ryan Folmar is pleased with the way his team has been playing.

“We had a rough start,” Folmar said. “We had a lot of things we didn’t do well early in the year, and I think we’re getting to the point where we’re getting better. We’re maturing. A lot of our new faces are getting some experience, and I think those things are invaluable as you go into conference play.”

A major reason for the slow start was the lack of offensive production and consistency. Folmar decided to juggle the lineup in an attempt to spark his offense. He also has been giving some of the struggling player’s days off here and there to rejuvenate them.

One of those players is Jose Trevino, who has had a resurgence lately. After a bit of a slump to start the season, he has found his swing. The junior is batting .292 with a team leading four homeruns and 17 RBIs.

One player who has consistently produced offensively is second baseman Matt Brandy. Brandy is hitting .287 this season with 15 RBIs and 25 hits. He also leads the team with a .376 on-base percentage.

Brandy has had a bit of a power surge lately with two homeruns and four doubles, and is on pace to set a career high in extra base hits. He feels that the work he did this past off-season has definitely helped him.

“I worked a lot in the weight room this summer,” Brandy said. “I was in there every day. I was injured so I couldn’t play summer ball. I just did as much as I could in the weight room to get stronger, just lifting hard and it’s paid off for me this year.”

Pitching has been the strength of the team. With a team ERA of 3.60, the Golden Eagles pitching staff has been solid, and has been a major factor in trying to get the team back to .500. Each pitcher in the bullpen has accepted their role and have performed admirably.

Junior Jordan Romano has emerged as the team’s closer. The right hander is 1-1 with four saves and has a sparkling 1.69 ERA.

The entire bullpen has pitched well, not just Romano. It has truly been a team effort, even getting contributions from freshmen relievers Kyler Stout, Hayden Holley and Jacob Teague.

While Folmar is pleased with the way his team has played thus far, he still feels that they have room to improve going into conference play.
“By no means are we a finished product,” Folmar said. “We still have to continue to get better, but I think we’re on the right path.”

With conference play beginning, the Golden Eagles look to make their mark on the Southland Conference. The Golden Eagles have some very exciting matchups against some quality opponents coming up later this month and early next month including home games against No. 24 Oklahoma State, No. 27 Texas Tech, and Sam Houston St.

The next home game for the Golden Eagles will be Wednesday, April 2 at 6:30 p.m. against Missouri State at J.L. Johnson Stadium.

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