Regents second seed in NAC tournament
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May 7, 2009 - LOVES PARK, Ill. – Two-time defending champion Rockford College is the No. 2 seed at this weekend’s Northern Athletics Conference tournament at Road Ranger Stadium.

To earn a three-peat in the NCAA Division III conference tournament, the Regents will have to get by regular-season champion Concordia University of Chicago. In both tournaments in the two-year-old conference, Rockford has beaten CUC in the final. If it comes down to that matchup on Saturday, Rockford RiverHawks fans will have a rooting interest either way.

RiverHawks manager Bob Koopmann is the head coach of the Regents, who play their home schedule at Road Ranger Stadium, home of the RiverHawks. RiverHawks coach Spiro Lempesis is the head coach of the Cougars and earned his 200th career win earlier this spring.

The four-team, double-elimination tournament begins at 9 a.m. Friday. Four games will be played Friday and at least two on Saturday. Aurora University and Benedictine University fill out the tourney. The winner receives an automatic NCAA regional berth. Full tournament information is available at host institution Edgewood College’s website. Fans can also listen to a line online broadcast of the entire tournament by visiting the site.

CUC went 30-13, 18-4 in conference play. The Cougars won 13 of their last 15 during the regular season and recorded their seventh straight 20-win season. Senior Phil Seris hit his school-record 15th homer of the season against Rockford. His 32 career homers is also a school record.

Rockford went 26-12, 17-5 in conference play. The Regents have won at least 20 games in each of the last three seasons, the longest streak in program history. Outfielder Shaun Dascher, a former RiverHawks intern, hit .401 to join T.J. Stanfield (.411) in the team’s .400 club.

Aurora was 27-11, 16-6 in the NAC. Though the Spartans have never before been in the NAC tourney, they have a long postseason history. AU has reached the Division III World Series six times in the last 19 seasons. Steve Salazar, who was 5-4 with a 2.21 earned-run average, pitched a no-hitter April 15 against Benedictine.

Benedictine was 22-18, 14-8 in the NAC. Rick Porcaro hit .407 with three home runs and 45 RBI. He led the team or was tied for the lead in all three categories. John Ostrowski, a 36-year veteran head coach, opened the season with his 800th career win. He became just the ninth coach in Division III history to reach the milestone.

The Rockford RiverHawks are the most highly attended minor-league baseball team in the Stateline. The RiverHawks are members of the Frontier League, a 12-team independent professional baseball league that will play its 17th season this summer. The RiverHawks will begin their eighth season at 7:05 p.m. Thursday, May 21 at Windy City and play their home opener at 7:05 p.m. Tuesday, May 26 against the Midwest Sliders of Ypsilanti. The RiverHawks host the 2009 Frontier League All-Star Game at 7:05 p.m. on July 15. Advertising and ticket information is available by calling (815) 885-2255. Fans can also visit the RiverHawks at www.rockfordriverhawks.com.


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