Clarksville, Ark.- No. 23 Ozarks will be on the road in Austin, Texas, against Concordia University Texas when it plays in a best-of-three first round baseball series in the American Southwest Conference tournament April 25-26.
Ozarks (30-9, 13-5 ASC) received the No. 3 seed out of the East Division after Mississippi College picked up a win against Texas-Tyler on Sunday. Concordia (26-13, 14-7 ASC) is the No. 2 seed out of the West Division and shared a part of the West Division title.
Friday’s game will start at 7:00 p.m. and Saturday’s game will begin at 1:00 p.m. All games will be nine innings. The winner of the best-of-three series will advance to the championship round May 2-4.
“This is what you play for all year along,” said head coach Jimmy Clark. “We are one of eight teams left and the guys are excited about it. We had last weekend off, so they should be rested and ready to play. We have to play Concordia at their place and that will be a tough challenge. They have a good baseball tradition. We have our work cut out for us. Hopefully, we will be up to the challenge.”
“We hit a little slump against Mississippi College. We didn’t play bad, but we didn’t play as well as we are capable of playing. I think we are back on the up-swing. The bottom line is you have to be able to throw well and play solid defense. I think we will hit it because we have done that all year. The key is pitching. If our starting pitching goes deep into the game we will have a chance to win.”
Ozarks has been led by the starting pitching trio of Todd Koch, Curt Dixon and Bruce Cameron, who have a 19-3 combined record. The team ERA is 4.72. Ozarks is hitting .360 this season, with sophomore shortstop Cory Briggs leading the way with a .487 average. Three other starters are hitting at least .400, and four other starters are hitting at least .300. Cameron is the top home run threat with a team-best 12. Briggs has drove in a team-high and single-season school record 52 runs.
Ozarks made the post-season tournament a year ago, winning a first round series against Mary Hardin-Baylor and advanced to the championship round in Richardson, Texas. The Eagles have went 2-3 in post-season play since joining the ASC.
Audio of all post-season games will be available at www.kxio-fmradio.com, with Daniel Gallegos calling the action.
2008 ASC Tournament – First Round
Game 1: [West #4] Hardin-Simmons @ [East #1] Texas-Tyler
Game 2: [East #3] Ozarks @ [West #2] Concordia Texas
Game 3: [West #3] Mary Hardin-Baylor @ [East #2] Mississippi College
Game 4: [East #4] Louisiana College @ [West #1] McMurry
Note: Starting times to be announced Monday (4/21)