Clarksville, Ark.-The Eagles will host University of the Mary Hardin-Baylor in a best two-of-three game series April 27 and April 28 at Lonnie R. Qualls Field in the first round of the American Southwest Conference championship tournament.
<#IMAGE:1#>Friday’s game is set for 2:00 p.m. Saturday’s first game will start at 11:00 a.m. If needed, the final game of the series will begin at 2:45 p.m. on Saturday. Each game will be nine-innings. “They look real similar to us on paper,” said head coach Jimmy Clark. “Their pitching and hitting statistics are very comparable to us. They had a nice year and held first or second place all year until the last weekend of the regular season. We certainly have our work cut out for us. This is the first time either team has qualified for the playoffs. So, I’m sure there will be some nervousness on Friday. But I believe both teams will get out there and play good baseball.” Mary Hardin-Baylor finished the season as the No. 3 seed out of the West division. The Crusaders ended regular season play with a 20-16-1 overall record and a 14-7 league mark. They did not make the playoffs last season. The Crusaders went 5-4 in their final nine ASC games, highlighted by a 6-1 win over #12 Texas Lutheran on April 6. They are batting .337 as a team. Joseph Villegas leads the Crusaders with a .412 average and has knocked in a team-high 38 RBI. The pitching staff owns a 6.04 ERA. R.B. Garza has logged the most innings on the mound, putting in 58.2 innings of work. He owns a 5-4 record and a 5.06 ERA while striking out 55. Bill Pearce (2-4) has a team-high 73 strikeouts. “They have a big 6-foot-6 left-handed pitcher that is very good,” said Clark. “The rest of their pitching staff includes finesse-type pitchers who can throw, too. We need to play good defense in order to win this series. Defensively, we’ve played pretty well down the stretch, and I think that is a direct result of our fielding improvement. Our infield has progressively gotten better in that area.” Ozarks is the No. 2 seed out the East division, and it is the first time since 1997 the Eagles have qualified for the playoffs. Ozarks has won seven of the their last nine conference games. The Eagles are batting .334 as a team, with newcomers John Glenn and Andrew Teaster posting the highest batting averages. Glenn ended regular season play with a .426 mark, while Teaster finished with a .422 average. Robby Finnell leads the team in home runs (8) and RBI (43). The pitching staff owns a 5.38 ERA. Curt Dixon (5-3) leads the team in innings pitched (61.2) and strikeouts (51). John Scheuring owns a team-low 1.00 ERA. 2007 AMERICAN SOUTHWEST CONFERENCE BASEBALL CHAMPIONSHIP TOURNAMENT SERIES FIRST ROUND (Best 2-of-3) Friday-Saturday, April 27-28 Game 1: Hardin-Simmons (25-15, W4) @ Texas-Dallas (29-9, E1) Game 2: Louisiana College (21-18, E3) @ McMurry (25-15, W2) Game 3: Mary Hardin-Baylor (20-16-1, W3) @ Ozarks (22-18, E2) Friday @ 2:00 p.m. & Saturday @ 11:00 a.m./3:00 p.m. Game 4: Mississippi College (16-23, E4) @ #8 Texas Lutheran (30-7-1, W1) CHAMPIONSHIP ROUND (Double-Elimination) Friday-Sunday, May 4-5-6 Hosted by East Division #1 Seed FRIDAY, MAY 4 Game 5: Winner Game 1 Series vs. Winner Game 2 Series Game 6: Winner Game 3 Series vs. Winner Game 4 Series SATURDAY, MAY 5 Game 7: Loser Game 5 vs. Loser Game 6 Game8: 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* Note: American Baseball Coaches Association/Collegiate Baseball national rankings listed