NAC tourney returns to Road Ranger Stadium
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May 7, 2008 - LOVES PARK, Ill. – The top-seeded Rockford College Regents will attempt to defend its Northern Athletics Conference baseball championship in the conference tournament this weekend at Road Ranger Stadium.

The Regents, who also have played their regular-season schedule the last two springs at the home of the Rockford RiverHawks, won the league title on the same field last May. This year, Rockford and Benedictine University are tied for first place in the NAC at 17-5. Concordia University of Chicago and Marian University round out the field in the four-team, double-elimination tournament, scheduled for Friday and Saturday.

The Eagles hold the top seed by virtue of sweeping the two-game regular-season series from the Regents. Earlier this season, Benedictine coach John Ostrowski became the 11th coach in NCAA Division III history to pass the 800-win mark. He has led the Eagles to a 25-15 overall record.

The Regents, 24-16 overall, are coached by Bob Koopmann, the defending conference coach of the year. Koopmann is also the manager of the RiverHawks.

Concordia’s J.D. Rotzoll won the NAC batting championship, with a .432 batting average, and hit a league-leading 11 home runs. He just missed the first Triple Crown in NAC history, finishing behind teammate Brandon Issac, 48-47, in the RBI race.

Marian features pitcher Nick Raddant, who went 7-1 and was the league’s top winner.

The tournament begins at 9 a.m. Friday, when the Eagles play fourth-seeded Concordia. At 12:30 p.m., Rockford plays Marian.

Local companies and organizations can purchase youth tournament ticket packages for $750 ($800 value) for 100 youth tickets or $375 ($400 value) for 50 youth tickets to distribute to neighborhood or deserving youth groups. To purchase ticket packages, contact John Giantonio at 815.489.1675 or [email protected].

Tickets can be purchased at the stadium on the days of the tournament.

The NAC is a NCAA Division III conference with 13 members. As a second-year conference, its champion does not earn an automatic NCAA regional bid. Despite winning a school-record 29 times last season, Rockford did not receive an at-large bid.

Opening Night is at 7:05 p.m. May 21, when the RiverHawks host River City at Road Ranger Stadium. The RiverHawks are members of the Frontier League, a 12-team independent professional baseball league that will play its 16th season this summer. Advertising and season-ticket information is available by calling the box office at (815) 885-2255. Most games are broadcast live on WNTA (1330 AM) and the internet. Fans can also visit the RiverHawks online at www.rockfordriverhawks.com.


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