Clarksville, Ark.- The Eagles will face No. 8 Texas Lutheran University on Friday at 11:00 a.m. in the championship round of the American Southwest Conference tournament in Richardson, Texas.
<#IMAGE:1#>The ASC championship round will be held May 4-6 on the campus of UT-Dallas, the ASC East division’s No. 1 seed. Friday’s winner would play on Saturday at 12:00. The loser would play on Saturday at 9:00 a.m. The championship round is double elimination, with the winner receiving an automatic berth to the NCAA III championships. McMurry University (27-15) and UT-Dallas (31-9) round out the final two tournament teams. Ozarks faced Texas Lutheran (32-8-1) in February in Seguin, Texas, and lost all three games to the Bulldogs, including a 12-inning 8-7 loss in game one. The Bulldogs have won the last two ASC championships. “Texas Lutheran is a very good club and they are very well coached,” said head coach Jimmy Clark. “They have a nice pitching staff and play really good defense. They swing the bat well, too, but don’t have to score too many runs because of their pitching. We will have to play hard and play better defense to win.” “We have a good opportunity before us,” said Clark. “We certainly want to take advantage of this and build on it. I like the way we are playing right now. We have won four series in a row.” 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 on Saturday 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. “Mary Hardin-Baylor has a real good team, and I thought we were evenly matched,” said Clark. “The third game was a battle of wills. I told our guys we had to outlast them and that’s what they did. I was very proud of them.” Texas Lutheran is led by highly touted short stop Jake Kaase, who is batting .424 with 50 RBI and four home runs. As a team the Bulldogs are hitting .344 with 16 home runs. The Bulldogs have three players who have hit more than ten doubles and nine players are hitting over .300. The pitching staff includes three players who have at least seven wins. Adam Enloe, who is 7-1, has amassed 69.2 innings on the mound and struck out 54. The team ERA is 4.00. The 2007 season marks the first time Ozarks has made the championship round. Ten players are batting over .300, with John Glenn and Andrew Teaser each hitting over .400. Robby Finnell continues to add to his school record 50 RBI total after a productive weekend at the plate. The Eagles have cranked out 30 home runs. The pitching staff owns a 5.26 ERA and has struck out 258. Curt Dixon has a 6-3 record. Finnell has a 4-3 record. <#IMAGE:2#>ASC Championship Round Schedule Richardson, Texas ? Double Elimination FRIDAY, May 4 (Gm 6) University of the Ozarks vs. Texas Lutheran, 11:00 a.m. (Gm 5) McMurry University vs. University of Texas-Dallas, 3:00 p.m. SATURDAY, May 5 (Gm 7) Loser Game 5 vs. Loser Game 6, 9:00 a.m. (Gm 8) Winner Game 5 vs. Winner Game 6, 12:00 p.m. (Gm 9/Semifinal) Winner Game 7 vs. Loser Game 8 , 3:00 p.m. SUNDAY, May 6 (Gm 10/Championship) Winner Game 8 vs. Winner Game 9, 1:00 p.m. (Gm 11) If Needed Game 10 teams, 30 minutes after conclusion Game 10 Winner receives an automatic bid to the NCAA III regionals.