Ouachita Baptist University will honor the 2008 NCAA Division II World Series runner-up team prior to the start of Saturday’s home opener against Missouri Western.
The Tigers, who won a school-record 51 games and reached the World Series Championship for the first time in school history, will recognize last season’s team approximately 20 minutes before the start of the Ouachita-Missouri Western baseball doubleheader at Rab Rodgers Field.
“We are very proud to honor the 2008 World Series runner-up team,” said OBU Director of Athletics David Sharp. “This is something special that not only the university can embrace, but the players, who worked extremely hard throughout the season, can as well.
“I want to applaud former Ouachita coach Scott Norwood and his staff throughout the years for helping establish Ouachita as one of the best programs in the country,” Sharp added.
Ouachita entered the South Central Region Tournament in Cleveland, Miss., as the fourth seed, but the Tigers won back-to-back games before defeating top-ranked Delta State to reach the championship. Ouachita won the school’s first-ever South Central Region Tournament Championship by coming back the next day and beating Delta State again to earn the school’s first-ever trip to the NCAA Division II World Series.
After a loss against No. 1 Mount Olive in the World Series opener, Ouachita battled back by defeating the two-time defending national champs, Tampa, and downing Ashland. The Tigers reached the winner-take-all title game by getting two straight 2-1 wins over No. 2 Sonoma State. However, the road ended in the national championship with a 6-2 loss to Mount Olive.
The Tigers’ doubleheader is scheduled to begin at noon on Saturday, Feb. 7, at Rab Rodgers Field against Missouri Western. Former Ouachita pitcher Steve Smith, who was selected in the 25th round of the Major League Baseball amateur draft by the Cleveland Indians, will throw out the ceremonial first pitch. The doubleheader can be heard on the Ouachita Baptist University Athletic website at: www.obutigers.com.
by Brian Howard