Sooner Athletic Conference Tourament Preview

As most of you may know, the winner and runner-up in the tournament get an automatic bid to the regional tournament. This tourament is stacked with five 30 win teams, and 3 ranked teams. This bracket is played at two different locations, including Bill Smith Ballpark in Chickasha, Oklahoma and Jim Wade stadium in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

1. Oklahoma City (42-5)

The Oklahoma City Stars are hosting one side of the bracket and will be playing Mid-America in the first game of the tournament. The Stars swept the season series against Mid-America. The Stars offense is led by Lane Milligan who is hitting .488, with 13 home runs and 79 RBI’s. The pitching staff is led by Matt Young who has thrown 25.2 inning, struck out 36 and has only allowed 18 hits. Young has a record of 3-0 with a 1.75 ERA on the season.

Head Coach Denney Crabaugh said “I think it’s going to be a highly competitive Conference tournament especially in the Oklahoma City bracket. There are several teams that will have to make the conference tournament final in order to gain a bid to the National tournament, ensuring that both brackets will be intense.

2. USAO (41-6)

The USAO Drovers are hosting the other side of the bracket and will be playing Bacone in the first game of the tournament. The Drovers swept the season series with Bacone. The Drovers offense is led by P.J. Garcia who is currently sitting at a .411 batting average and has 13 doubles on the season. The Drovers have two very dominating arms with Francis Ventura and Jose Hidalgo. Ventura is 9-0 on the season with a 4.35 ERA. Hidalgo is 8-2 with a 2.31 ERA.

Head Coach Mike Ross said “Looking forward to the tournament. This is always a fun time of year. It’s either win or go home.

3. Texas Wesleyan (34-14)

The Texas Wesleyan Rams will be playing in the USAO side of the bracket and will play Panhandle State for their first game of the tournament. The Rams swept Panhandle State in the season series. The Rams have a very good offense led by Kiki Menendez who is currently hitting .480, with 23 home runs, and 22 doubles. Menendez has also drove in 75 runs for the Rams. The Rams leading pitcher has been Brad Suggs who is 9-1 with a 3.32 ERA. Suggs has thrown 76 innings and has struck out 64 batters.

Head Coach Bobby Garza said “We look forward to having a great tournament. Our players have dealt with a lot of adversity throughout the entire year. They have handled themselves in the most professional way. Every player has put the team first and themselves last. We are excited to compete this weekend and look forward to playing Panhandle State Friday.

4. Wayland Baptist (34-17)

The Wayland Baptist Pioneers will be playing in the Oklahoma City side of the bracket and will be playing Southwestern Christian. During the season Southwestern Christian would win the series 2-1. The Pioneers offense would be led by Gregg Veneklasen who is hitting .401 with 20 home runs. The Pitching staff is led by Tanner Soloman who is 5-1 with a 3.88 ERA. Soloman has thrown 48.2 innings and struck out 30 batter on the season.

Head Coach Brad Bass said “Our team and coaching staff are really excited about playing in the SAC Tournament. Every team is really good and it is going to be a very competitive experience for our teams. Whoever wins their pool is going to be an exceptional team and championship day should prove to be a dogfight.

5. Southwestern Christian (34-17)

The Southwestern Christian Eagles are playing in the Oklahoma City part of the bracket and are playing Wayland Baptist in the opening game. The Eagles would win the season series over Wayland Baptist 2-1. The offense for the Eagles is led by Antony Ward who is hitting .391, with 3 home runs and 12 doubles. The pitching staff is led by Juan Carlos Gonzalez who is 8-3 with a 2.93 ERA. Gonzalez has thrown 76.2 innings and has struck out 102 on the season.

6. Panhandle State (24-30)

The Panhandle State Aggies are playing the USAO side of the bracket and will be playing Texas Wesleyan. During the season, the Aggies went 0-3 when playing Texas Wesleyan. The offense for the Aggies is led by Jared Mayeda who is hitting .347 with 8 doubles and 1 home run. The pitching staff is led by Corey Ley who has thrown 75.2 innings and struck out 33. Ley is 5-8 on the season with a 7.02 ERA.

7. Bacone (13-34)

The Bacone Warriors are set to play in the USAO bracket and will be playing the host USAO. On the season USAO swept the Warriors. The Warriors offense is led by Corben Henry who is hitting .306 with 4 doubles and 3 triples. The pitching staff for the Warriors is led by Kyler Johnston. He has thrown 84.1 innings and has went 4-6 with a 3.63 ERA.

8. Mid-America (20-33)

The Mid-America Evangels are set to play in the Oklahoma City bracket and play the host team, Oklahoma City. In the season series the Evangels were swept by the Stars. The Evangels are led by Felix Martinez who is hitting .406 with 11 home runs and 17 doubles. The pitching staff is led by Keisy Portorrealv who is 9-2 with 87.2 innings pitched, and has 125 strikeouts.

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