OVC Baseball Championship Tournament Underway Wednesday
Published on May 20 2014 5:01 am
Last Updated on May 20 2014 5:01 am
Written by Millie Lange
The 2014 Ohio Valley Conference Baseball Championship field is now set. The event will be held May 21-25 at The Ballpark at Jackson (formerly Pringles Park) in Jackson, Tennessee. This year marks the fifth year in a row the event will be held at the venue, which is home of the Jackson Generals, the AA-affiliate of the Seattle Mariners.
Southeast Missouri (36-18, 23-7 OVC) was picked sixth in the OVC preseason poll but finished the season with 23 victories (one shy of the OVC single-season record) to run away with the conference crown. It is the second overall OVC regular season championship for the Redhawks and first since the 2002 season. Southeast Missouri is appearing in its 20th-straight OVC Tournament this year, which is an all-time OVC record for consecutive appearances (the second place mark is 13-straight years). Overall the team has 36 victories on the season, just one shy of the school record of 37 set in both 2000 and 2002; the team has won 22 of its last 30 games entering the postseason. The Redhawks are the No. 1 seed and will open play on Thursday night at 7:00 p.m. after receiving a first round bye.
Tennessee Tech (38-17, 18-12 OVC) won on the final day of the regular season to lock up the No. 2 overall seed and a first round bye. The Golden Eagles will open play on Thursday afternoon at 3:00 p.m. Overall it is the third-straight season and sixth time in last seven years the team has qualified for the event (TTU won the tournament crown last in 2009). Tech is now just two wins shy of reaching the 40-win mark for the second-straight season
Jacksonville State (30-24, 18-12 OVC) qualified for its 11th-straight OVC Tournament this season. The Gamecocks closed out the regular season with a loss to Morehead State, pushing it to the No. 3 seed overall (after losing a head-to-head tiebreaker with Tennessee Tech). JSU will open play against No. 6 seed Eastern Illinois on Wednesday at 7:00 p.m. The Gamecocks are the last team other than Austin Peay (who didn't make this year's field) to win the OVC Tournament crown (2010).
SIUE (21-31, 16-14 OVC) qualified for its first-ever OVC Tournament in its second year of eligibility. The Cougars knocked off Austin Peay on the final day of the season to claim the final spot in the field. That victory pushed the Cougars to the No. 4 seed and they will open play on Wednesday at 3:00 p.m. against No. 5 seed Morehead State (the team it finished in a tie with in the final standings).
Morehead State (28-26, 16-14 OVC) qualified for the OVC Tournament for the second time in the last three years, but overall it is just the fourth appearance for the team in the last 12 years (2002, 2005, 2009, 2012). In its second season under head coach Mike McGuire the Eagles improved its overall win total by 12 games this season while increasing its OVC win total by six victories. MSU opens tournament play on Wednesday afternoon at 3:00 p.m. against No. 4 seed SIUE.
After failing to make the field a season ago Eastern Illinois (21-31-1, 15-14-1 OVC) swept UT Martin during the final weekend of play to clinch a spot in the six-team field. The Panthers finished the season by winning 10 of its last 13 OVC contests (including a tie) after staring Conference play 5-12. As the No. 6 seed EIU will open play on Wednesday night at 7:00 p.m. against No. 3 seed Jacksonville State
Fans can watch the entire 2014 OVC Baseball Tournament live on the OVC Digital Network<http://ovcdigitalnetwork.com/showcase/>. There is no charge to watch the event and the games are available on any computer, tablet or smart phone.
Tickets for the event will be $10 per day or $28 for an all-session pass (up to 11 total games). There is also a $8 a day rate (or $25 for an all-tournament pass) for students/faculty of OVC-member schools (with valid ID) or for groups. All seats at the 6,000-seat park are general admission for the OVC Championship.
Fans can purchase tickets in person at the Jackson Generals box office or by calling (731) 988-5299 or going online here: https://www.ticketreturn.com/prod2/team.asp?SponsorID=6518#.U3eyaa0o6M8
Wednesday, May 21
Game 1 - #4 SIUE vs. #5 Morehead State, 3:00 p.m.
Game 2 - #3 Jacksonville State vs. #6 Eastern Illinois, 7:00 p.m.
Thursday, May 22
Game 3 - Loser Game 1 vs. Loser Game 2, 11:00 a.m.
Game 4 - #2 Tennessee Tech vs. Best Seed of Games 1/2 Winners, 3:00 p.m.
Game 5 - #1 Southeast Missouri vs. Worst Seed of Games 1/2 Winners, 7:00 p.m.
Friday, May 23
Game 6 - Winner Game 3 vs. Worst Seed of Games 4/5 Losers, 11:00 a.m.
Game 7 - Winner Game 6 vs. Best Seed of Games 4/5 Losers, 3:00 p.m.
Game 8 - Winner Game 4 vs. Winner Game 5, 7:00 p.m.
Saturday, May 24
Game 9 - Winner Game 7 vs. Loser Game 8, 12:00 p.m.
Game 10 - Winner Game 8 vs. Winner Game 9, 3:30 p.m.
Sunday, May 25 (if necessary)
Game 11 - Winner Game 10 vs. Loser Game 10, 12:00 p.m.