Clarksville Ark. - The University of the Ozarks baseball team wrapped up fall season with their sights set on the upcoming spring season.
The 2008 season was one for the record books for Ozarks. It was a season that saw team records for wins in a regular season (32), conference wins in a season (13), a national ranking as high as #14, and a second consecutive trip to the American Southwest Conference playoffs. Along with all the success last season comes the tough task of building upon and maintaining what was established. Two All-America players, Cory Briggs and Bruce Cameron, return for Ozarks, and were key players in Ozarks 32-11 record in 2008.
The 2009 version of the Eagles won’t look much different than the 2008 Eagles minus a few gaps to fill. The Eagles lost their assistant coach, three everyday starters and the ace of the pitching staff to graduation.
“You lose guys every year to graduation,” says new assistant coach Curt Dixon. “It’s just a part of college athletics. We have a good nucleus coming back, but the fall is the first chance we have to mix and match the returners with the newcomers to fill the holes.”
During the fall season, the Eagles played Carl Albert State College, a junior college in Poteau, Oklahoma. The game is a non-traditional game in the sense of it counting towards records.
“The Carl Albert game is used to serve as a break from playing each other in practice and getting actual game experience,” said Dixon, who also emphasized the importance of getting the young guys game experience. “That game is also used to throw the newcomers in the fire, so to speak, and see who separates themselves by the way they play.”
The Eagles will open up its spring season February 3 hosting Hendrix College at Lonnie R. Qualls Field. Ozarks will then go on the road to Jackson, Mississippi, to play in the prestigious Wilson/DeMarini Classic February 6-8.
By Daniel Gallegos, Assistant Sports Information Director