The News-Record

Carter McQuigg and Oral Roberts are hitting stride at just the right time.

McQuigg carries a six-game hitting streak and the Golden Eagles are working on a 16-game win streak heading into the opening round of the NCAA Wichita Regional on Friday.

“We've really come together here towards the end and have been playing our best baseball,” said the Miami High School and Northeastern A&M product.

ORU (40-15) received the No. 3 seed and will face No. 2 seed Arizona (40-15) in the 1 p.m. opener at Eck Stadium.

No. 1 seed Wichita State (49-19) faces No. 4 seed New Orleans (37-24) in the second game.

This will be the third time that ORU will be playing a regional in Wichita. The Golden Eagles are 2-0 this season against the regional field, sweeping Wichita State in a home-and-home series.

The Golden Eagles earned the Mid-Continent Conference automatic bid after winning their 10th straight Mid-Con Championship. This is ORU's 10th straight regional and 19th appearance overall.

ORU went 19-1 in Mid-Con play, the lone blemish a 7-3 loss to Valparaiso on April 29. Since then, the Golden Eagles have run off 16 straight wins, the longest active winning streak in the nation. They've also won 25 of their last 26.

“I didn't care where we went,” McQuigg said. “I really think our ballclub has the best chance at going to the next level. It's not an easy regional.”

Arizona earned an at-large bid out of the Pacific-10 Conference member. The Wildcats finished the season 15-9 in league play and are making their 33rd appearance in the postseason.

This will be ORU's first game against Arizona since February 23, 1997.

The Eagles won the 2006 Fayetteville Regional to advance to their first-ever NCAA Super Regional. There, they were swept by Clemson 11-6 and 8-5

“Last year will help tremendously,” McQuigg said. “Six of our eight position players return who played in the Super Regional. We have that under our belts. We're not going into something new like it was last year.”

McQuigg has started 45 of the 53 games he's played this season for the Golden Eagles.

He's started 41 games at third base, three at shortstop and once at second.

McQuigg has struggled at the plate, hitting only .245. However, in Mid-Con play, he's got a .426 average, getting 20 hits in 47 at-bats while driving in eight runs.

“I'm not satisfied,” McQuigg said. “I've struggled a little this year with the bat. Every hitter is going to go through their slumps. It's not something I can't come out of still.”

“About the last month, month and a half, I have stated to hit the ball real well.”

McQuigg has had 10 multiple-hit games, including two where he's had three hits - most recently on May 24 against Centenary.

He started two years at Northeastern A&M, helping the Norsemen reach the NJCAA World Series as a sophomore.

McQuigg, a 2003 graduate of Miami High School, helped the Wardogs qualify for the Class 4A state tournament twice.

He was named the MVP of the ‘03 Sooner State Games.

McQuigg said ORU's schedule was ranked the fifth toughest in the country by Collegiate Baseball.

“Obviously with our schedule, the pitching has been tough,” he said. “But I think it's just the normal struggles a batter will go through. It's a mental thing as much as physical. I don't think there is anything wrong with my swing. Sometimes you just get it in your head and that's where your struggles come from.

“It's nice to watch a game on TV and think ‘they're not where they should be.' That's how I look at myself. I still have some games left to pull it up and get things together.”hot at perfect time