Clarksville, Ark.-The Eagles will advance to the championship round of the American Southwest Conference tournament after winning the third game 14-12 of a best two-of-three series against University of Mary Hardin-Baylor on Saturday at Lonnie R. Qualls Field.
<#IMAGE:1#>Mary Hardin-Baylor’s (21-18) starting pitcher R.B. Garza went the distance and Ricky LaFont hit a three-run home run in the eighth as the Crusaders edged Ozarks 4-3 in game one to send the series into the third and final game. But it was Ozarks (24-19) that won game two behind two home runs and seven RBI from Robby Finnell, combined with a gutsy pitching effort by junior Curt Dixon to push the Eagles to the four-team championship round May 4-6 in Richardson, Texas. The Eagles will face Texas Lutheran on May 4 on the campus of UT-Dallas, who will host the tournament as the ASC East division’s No. 1 seed. The championship round is double elimination, with the winner receiving an automatic berth to the NCAA III championships. Game two was a slugfest that saw the two teams combine for 36 hits and 26 runs. It was Finnell that did most of the damage as he hit a grand slam in the first and a three-run shot in the seventh. Fellow Oklahoma native Dixon (6-3) found his rhythm when he was inserted in the sixth inning. Dixon, who threw five and two-third innings on Friday, pitched the final three and one-third innings to earn the win. He struck out four and allowed two hits and one run. John Glenn and Logan Kizer each went 4-for-6 with 2 RBI and 2 runs. Finnell finished 2-for-5 at the plate. In game one, the Eagles got their first run of the game in the third inning on a delayed steal. David Smith stole home when Kizer took off for second. Kizer was out on the play, but the Eagles tied the contest at 1-1. Ozarks took a 3-1 lead in the eighth on RBI by Glenn and Todd Koch. However, the Crusaders picked up the win on LaFont’s homer. Jimmy Pannell and Smith each had two hits. John Scheuring (3-2) took the loss. Finnell started and went seven innings. He allowed just one run and struck out five. ASC CHAMPIONSHIP ROUND (Double-Elimination) Friday-Sunday, May 4-5-6 Hosted by East Division #1 Seed, University of Texas at Dallas Richardson, Texas / UTD Baseball Complex FRIDAY, MAY 4 Game 5: #21 Texas-Dallas (31-9, E1) vs. McMurry (27-15, W2) Game 6: Ozarks (24-19, E2) vs. #8 Texas Lutheran (32-8-1, W1) SATURDAY, MAY 5 Game 7: Loser Game 5 vs. Loser Game 6 Game 8: Winner Game 5 vs. Winner Game 6 Game 9: Winner Game 7 vs. Loser Game 8 (Semifinal) SUNDAY, MAY 6 Game 10: Winner Game 8 vs. Winner Game 9 (Championship) Game 11 (if necessary): 30 minutes after Game 10 *ASC champion earns an automatic berth to the NCAA Division III Baseball Championship*