CHICKASHA – The fifth-seeded Drovers are now looking to continue some strong performances in post-season as they enter the Sooner Athletic Conference tournament this weekend.
The round-robin style tournament spans four days, with each team competing in a game Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The team with the highest tournament record from each pool will compete in the SAC Championship on Monday afternoon at OCU.
Both teams that make it into the Championship game will receive an automatic bid to the 2014 NAIA Baseball National Championship Opening Round. The rest of the schools will have to rely on an at-large bid to nationals.
“When you get into post-season, which pool you get doesn’t really matter,” USAO Head Coach Mike Ross. “We have to make it to the championship game. Everybody is good, and everybody is playing for the same thing. To me, it doesn’t matter which side you are on.”
The tournament, which takes the top eight teams in the conference, is divided into Pool A and Pool B. Pool A, which is where USAO will play, takes place at Oklahoma Baptist while Pool B will be played at Oklahoma City.
The Drovers (25-21) enter the tournament fifth — exactly where preseason polls put them — after winning the tiebreaker over Texas Wesleyan. Both teams are 15-12 in conference play, but USAO won the series against the Rams 2-1.
“I would have liked to be a little higher but we battled through some diversity this season,” Ross said. “We are excited and ready to go to OBU and play in a conference tournament.”
The Drovers will take on fourth-seeded Wayland Baptist at 2 p.m. Friday, top-seeded OBU at 5 p.m. Saturday and eighth-seeded Mid-America Christian at 1 p.m. Sunday.
Pool B consists of second-seeded OCU, third-seeded Northwood, sixth-seeded TWU and seventh-seeded Southwestern Assemblies of God.