Clarksville, Ark.-The Eagles secured a spot in the playoffs after completing a three-game sweep against Louisiana College in American Southwest Conference East division play over the weekend.
<#IMAGE:1#>Ozarks defeated the Wildcats 5-3 on Sunday. It will be the Eagles’ first trip to the playoffs since 1997. Ozarks will finish regular season conference play when they head to Clinton, Miss., to face Mississippi College (15-21, 6-9) on April 20 and April 21. UT-Tyler (33-0, 14-0) remains atop the divisional standings, followed by UT-Dallas (26-9, 11-4) and Ozarks (20-16, 8-7). UT-Tyler is not eligible for post-season play this season. “It is nice to finally get over the hump and make the playoffs,” said head coach Jimmy Clark. “This is a big step and one that is certainly in the right direction for this program. We hope this moves us forward to bigger and better things in the future. Our pitching has been better than in year’s past and we’ve played really good defense the last month or so. We’ve done the right things at the right time this season.” “Mississippi College has always given us all we have want,” said Clark. “They can really swing the bat. But our outfield is strong defensively, so hopefully they can run down a lot of those balls hit to the gaps.” The Eagles still have the opportunity to host a first-round playoff series, and this can be accomplished if Ozarks wins one against Mississippi College and if UT-Tyler wins two of three against Louisiana College. Bruce Cameron and Robby Finnell hit back-to-back RBI doubles in the fifth to give Ozarks a 4-2 advantage. The Eagles scored twice in the bottom of the first. Finnell tripled in a run and Scott Dietz followed with a RBI double. Starter Todd Koch kept the Wildcat offense in check during his five and one-third innings of work on the mound. He struck out five and allowed only three hits. D.J. Braswell pitched two innings of relief and John Scheuring recorded his school record fifth save of the year after going one and two-third innings. In all, the trio gave up only five hits in the nine-inning contest. Finnell and John Glenn each collected two hits. Koch (3-5) received the win. Louisiana College’s Matt Smith went 3-for-3 with an RBI. The Eagles will travel to Russellville to face Arkansas Tech University on April 17.