Chef has recipe for cooking up playoff dish
Nick Sheffield calls for fans in final 11 home games
Baseball Lions host St. Gregory's in big series on Fri/Sat
Current Standings: http://www.soonerathletic.org/sport/0/6.php
WAXAHACHIE, Texas -- Entering the final weeks of the college baseball season Southwestern Assemblies of God University has plenty to play for.
It’s been eight years since SAGU tasted post-season action, and even longer since they last qualified for the conference tournament. (see graph below)
New Head Coach Sam Blackmon has a very young squad who has battled their way to within sight of life beyond the regular season finale.
The Lions are 15-19 (won-lost record) overall while their 6-9 mark against teams in the Sooner Athletic Conference positions them at sixth in the 10-team league.
The top eight qualify for the SAC tourney, which will be held during May 2-6 in the Oklahoma City area.
Perhaps the most important series of the season comes this weekend when SAGU hosts St. Gregory’s University (10-22 / 3-12 in SAC) for three games.
The Lions and Cavaliers are set for a Friday doubleheader at 4:00pm at the Waxahachie Sports Complex. The Pride is 4-3 at the WSC. A sunny sky with temperatures in the 70’s is in the forecast.
Saturday brings a nine-inning game at noon at the campus ballfield, where the hosts are 5-8 this spring.
Women's Soccer will be selling outdoor concessions; pizza, chips, candy and drinks at Saturday’s game. Proceeds go to their missions project.
A 5-4 win at the University of Science & Arts of Oklahoma (USAO) over the weekend improved the team’s stance with just over three weeks to go.
“That win was huge because of its impact on conference standings,” said senior Nick Sheffield (Maypearl, Tx / Maypearl HS).
“It was a ‘team win,’” he explained. “Guys did what they had to advance guys (to the next base), or whatever had to be done.”
As for the St. Greg’s trio of games this weekend, “Our mindset is taking the series and putting ourselves in position to sweep the series,” the veteran third baseman added.
“In order to do that, we’ll need sound defense and unselfishness on offense. Those elements will give us great opportunities to win,” Sheffield stated. “We are aware of the NCCAA (Regional), but our goal is the conference tourney.”
After facing the Cavaliers, the Lions welcome Ecclesia College (Ark) next week.
The ending gets tougher. The Big Cats travel for three games to No. 11 Oklahoma City University (23-9), before closing at home against No. 2 ranked Oklahoma Baptist University (28-5) and Northwood University (19-15).
“Those series will be tough,” acknowledged Sheffield, “but if we play baseball like we have been, anything can happen.”
"We could really use a boost from our home fans, too," he added. "The can make a big difference!"
The senior has been forced to miss much of his season due to student-teaching for his Secondary History Education major. However, the good-natured, red-head who stands 6-foot-2, much of it smile, is serious about capping his career on the right foot.
"We haven't had many good breaks late in the season since I've been here. It's time we made our own breaks!"
Overview of Sooner Athletic Conference Tournament
Eight SAC teams will be divided into two four-team pools. Each team will play the other three teams in their group, meaning a minimum of three games.
After 'pool play' the top teams in each foursome will meet in the conference final. The winner advances to the NAIA national tournament.
Oklahoma City University and Oklahoma Baptist University will serve as hosts.
NCCAA Central Regional Update
The National Christian College Athletic Association’s Central Regional is a solid option for the Lions. Teams from the NAIA, the NCAA's Division II and III will comprise most of the field at the tourney. Details (dates, location) will soon be posted.
Lions need at least a 20-28 record for NCCAA
SAGU must win roughly 20 games, or 40% of their 48 contests. That breaks down to finishing 5-9 in their 14 remaining games.
Eleven of them are in town; six at the Waxahachie Sports Complex, five on their campus field.
The Lions could use a strong fan base to rally behind them and their quest for post-season action.
Consider enjoying the sun, the breeze and time with friends while rooting for the Purple and Gold.
SAGU Stretch Run
The Lions schedule has too often witnessed the team WIND DOWN instead of WIND UP in the closing weeks. Here is proof that history has repeated itself too often during the past eight seasons.
None of the teams qualified for the conference tournament or played in the NCCAA Regional.
|Year||Final Record||Performance Down the Stretch|
|2013||16-32||Lost final nine games|
|2012||14-28||Lost at Texas College, 4-3, in bid to qualify for RRAC Tourney|
|2011||11-31||Lions lost 11 of final 13 games|
|2010||8-27||Team dropped last 17 of 19 contests|
|2009||14-30||Lost last four and 9 of 12|
|2008||15-23||Came up short in 9 of last 13|
|2007||9-26||Lost last six games|
|2006||20-22-1*||Had 18-13 record before 1-8 finish. Went 1-1 at NCCAA Regional|
Note: While in the Red River Athletic Conference only the Top 6 teams qualified for the tournament.
*Team's best record since joining the NAIA in 1997.