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Top-Seeded ONU Carries Hot Streak Into CCAC Baseball Tournament

JOLIET, Ill. — An eight-game winning streak to close out the regular season catapulted Olivet Nazarene University to the top of the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference baseball standings and the league title.  Now, the top-seeded Tigers will attempt to make it a clean sweep of league championships with the start of the CCAC Tournament on Friday morning at DuPage Medical Group Field.

The hottest team coming into the postseason, Olivet Nazarene (30-19) enters as the top seed after claiming the most league victories (23) against only six defeats.  But the six defeats have come from across the board, including against four other teams in the tournament field – No. 2 seed St. Ambrose University (26-21), No. 3 Judson University (21-18), No. 5 University of St. Francis (21-18) (twice) and No. 6 Saint Xavier University (29-23).  The other defeat came versus Lincoln College, which did not get past the play-in round.  The fact that five teams dented Olivet Nazarene’s record is the reason it gives each of the eight teams in the double-elimination field a solid chance to earn the conference’s other bid to the NAIA National Tournament Opening Round.

Saint Xavier, No. 7 Roosevelt University (18-17) and No. 8 Trinity Christian College (15-29) all advanced to play on Friday after securing their spots with wins on Tuesday in the play-in round.  Trinity Christian had no trouble against Calumet St. Joseph in a 14-0 contest, Saint Xavier handled Lincoln 8-3 and Roosevelt needed ten innings to defeat Trinity International 3-2.

Also in the mix for the tournament crown is No. 4 seed Indiana University South Bend (23-22).

The tournament is comprised of four games on each of the first three days – Friday, Saturday, Monday – with the potential for the championship on Tuesday night at 7 pm.  A second championship game would commence on Wednesday, also at 7, if necessary.

Host St. Francis and Indiana South Bend cut the ribbon on the opening of the tournament Friday morning at 10 am with Judson going up against Saint Xavier at 1 pm.  St. Ambrose and Roosevelt are the two featured teams in the 4 pm tilt with Olivet Nazarene and Trinity Christian wrapping up the first-day of activity at 7 pm.

Along with Olivet Nazarene as the regular-season champion, the winner of the tournament also advances to the NAIA National Tournament Opening Round, which runs May 17-20 at eight different sites.  Should the Tigers also claim the conference tournament, the second-place tournament finisher would earn the league’s second automatic bid to the Opening Round.

For complete tournament information, go to Tournament Website.

The complete schedule follows:

Friday, May 7
Game 1 – No. 5 seed St. Francis (21-18) vs. No. 4 seed Indiana South Bend (23-22) — 10 am
Game 2 – No. 6 seed Saint Xavier (29-23) vs. No. 3 seed Judson (21-18) — 1 pm
Game 3 – No. 7 seed Roosevelt (18-17) vs. No. 2 seed St. Ambrose (26-21) — 4 pm
Game 4 – No. 8 seed Trinity Christian (15-29) vs. No. 1 seed Olivet Nazarene (30-19) — 7 pm

Saturday, May 8
Game 5 – Loser-Game #2 vs. Loser-Game #3 — 10 am
Game 6 – Loser-Game #1 vs. Loser-Game #4 — 1 pm
Game 7 – Winner-Game #2 vs. Winner-Game #3 — 4 pm
Game 8 – Winner-Game #1 vs. Winner-Game #4 — 7 pm

Monday, May 9
Game 9 – Winner-Game #5 vs. Loser-Game #8 — 10 am
Game 10 – Winner-Game #6 vs. Loser-Game #7 — 1 pm
Game 11 – Winner-Game #9 vs. Winner-Game #10 — 4 pm
Game 12 – Winner-Game #7 vs. Winner-Game #8 — 7 pm

Tuesday, May 10
Game 13 – Loser-Game #12 vs. Winner-Game #11 — 4 pm
Game 14 – Winner-Game #13 vs. Winner-Game #12 — 7 pm (Championship)

Wednesday, May 11
Game 15 – Winner-Game #14 vs. Loser-Game #14 — 7 pm (If necessary)