Baseball Preview: Oral Roberts

After taking one of the longer road trips in the history of the baseball program, Cal State Fullerton returns home this weekend to play the Oral Roberts Golden Eagles.

It was an outstanding trip for the Titans with three wins at Southern Mississippi and a midweek win at Texas A&M (ranked in the top 10) followed by a 3-1 weekend at Oklahoma State where Fullerton went 2-0 against Rhode Island and 1-1 against OSU (ranked in the top 20).  Fullerton's eleven game winning streak was ended last Saturday night by OSU.

Oral Roberts started their season at 7-2 before having their series against Dallas Baptist rained out last weekend.  After sweeping Western Michigan to open the season, the Golden Eagles won their series 2-1 at home against Texas-San Antonio and went 2-1 at Rice's tournament (loss to Notre Dame, wins against Washington State and Rice).  Oral Roberts is used to playing against high level competition because they have appeared in eleven straight regionals with 40+ wins in each of those seasons.  The Golden Eagles have gone 228-80 under coach Rob Walton since 2004 (.739 winning percentage, the 3rd best in the country during that time), including 127-14 at home and 118-10 against Summit Conference opponents.  Walton was the coach last summer for Team USA, whom Josh Fellhauer, Christian Colon and Jared Clark helped lead to a 24-0 record.

OUTLOOK

Fullerton has a great deal of momentum going after winning 12 out of 13 games.  Oral Roberts has played well to start the season but for the most part has not played teams of Fullerton's caliber (except for Rice, whom they beat) and not playing for ten days and having a long flight can't do much to help them at this point in the season.  The pitching for these teams is pretty comparable but Fullerton is a better fielding team and a much better hitting team.  It wouldn't be a surprise if Oral Roberts won a game this weekend because of their pitching (it wouldn't be a surprise if the Renken vs. Sullivan matchup was a low scoring game) but this doesn't look like a good matchup for the Golden Eagles.  If Fullerton's offense keeps producing like they have in scoring 6+ runs in 14 of 16 games then this could end up being a sweep for the Titans.