Ryan Folmar experienced a first as Oral Roberts baseball coach Wednesday night. It wasn’t one he was particularly excited about, though.
Lightning from severe storms in the area struck near J.L. Johnson Stadium prior to ORU’s first-round game against South Dakota State in the Summit League Tournament and knocked out power to the stadium. That forced the conference to call off the game between the No. 3 seed Golden Eagles and No. 2 Jackrabbits.
“This is a first for me,” Folmar said, not long after assessing the situation after the game was pushed back a day. “I’ve been here since 2003 and this is a first.”
Folmar and Summit League officials were left to evaluate how to move forward with the tournament.
“It knocked everything out,” he said. “Just having to figure out how we can function moving forward.”
Rainfall from recent days had dried up just enough for Omaha and Western Illinois to play the first game on Wednesday. Omaha won 15-9. But storms that rolled through Wednesday evening left the outfield grass saturated.
The Golden Eagles (26-24) and South Dakota State (27-20) are slated to play at noon Thursday. The loser of that game will face Western Illinois in an elimination game at 3:30. The rest of the schedule is up in the air.
“The first thing to figure out is if the lights are going to work,” Folmar said. “The outfield will drain, and of course we’re not worried about the infield since it’s all turf. But with all the rain, it’s pretty saturated, just like the state of Oklahoma.”
When the Golden Eagles start their first game in pursuit of another Summit League Tournament title, they’ll do so by deploying Josh McMinn (6-5) on the mound. South Dakota State will counter with junior Tyler Olmstead (6-2).
“We’ll run them out the same way,” Folmar said of his pitching rotation and lineup. “If you let yourself, you can overthink it too much. You can get yourself into trouble and just have to be ready when we play ball. That’s all we can control.”