'Business As Usual': ORU Baseball Looking To Make Program History Against Florida Gators

Tonight, the Golden Eagles have a chance to do something that has never been done in program history: win multiple games at the College World Series.

Sunday, June 18th 2023, 4:26 pm

By: N/A N/A


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“Business as usual.”

That’s how Ryan Folmar described ORU baseball’s off-day workout at the University of Omaha on Saturday. The team played catch, took some batting practice on the field, went through a round of infield. Business as usual.

Except it’s not.

Tonight, the Golden Eagles have a chance to do something that has never been done in program history: win multiple games at the College World Series. The 1978 team won its opener over North Carolina, 11-0, but then lost the next two. If ORU wins tonight, they will officially be the most successful team in school history.

It won’t be easy. Standing in their way are the no. 2-ranked Florida Gators, who walked off winners over Virginia in their opener. But for all of the weight the Gator name carries, the numbers play out an even matchup. Florida’s pitching stats are slightly better, the hitting stats are virtually identical, and the Golden Eagles are the best defensive team in Omaha, based on fielding percentage. Expect this to be a tight, dramatic, well-played ballgame—like we’ve seen from ORU all year.

Lefty Harley Gollert likely gets the ball to start. He led the Golden Eagles in wins this year with 10 and was second on the team in strikeouts with 88. They will need him to miss bats. Florida was third in the nation with 126 home runs this year, but they struck out 230 times. If Gollert can get swings-and-misses and keep the ball in the park when Florida does make contact, the ORU offense should score enough to keep them close and competitive.

We’ve seen all postseason, if ORU is close late in a game, they have a chance.

Related Story: ORU Baseball Spends Off Day Preparing For Matchup With Florida In College World Series

Folmar downplayed the importance, but the fact that ORU is playing in the winner's bracket is certainly an advantage. They aren’t playing for the lives tonight, but the real advantage isn’t gained until a team goes 2-0 in Omaha. Between 2009-2021, 22 teams made it to the College World Series Championship Series. Only six of them lost one of their first two games. So ORU is in a good spot certainly, but a win over Florida would put them in an unprecedented spot.

And things keep coming up Golden Eagles.

In the first elimination game today, TCU beat no. 7 Virginia. Meaning should ORU lose tonight, they would face the Horned Frogs again—a team they’ve already beaten once.

The game against Florida is at 6 p.m. on ESPN.

For more on ORU's run to Omaha, CLICK HERE.

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