OKLAHOMA CITY (Dec. 2, 2012) – New Oklahoma Christian baseball coach Lonny Cobble has announced a 51-game schedule for the Eagles in 2013, a slate that will include a pair of games against an NCAA Division I foe.
The baseball season will be OC’s first since beginning the NCAA Division II membership process in September. Cobble took the reins of the OC program from Chuck White, who stepped down at the end of the 2012 season.
OC will play two games against every other team in the Heartland Conference, although games against the Eagles will not count in the conference standings. OC will not be eligible to participate in Division II postseason play but could potentially see postseason action in National Christian College Athletic Association regional and national events.
“This will be a challenging schedule, with games against Division II powers in our conference as well as some good NAIA teams we’ve played in past years,” Cobble said.
The Eagles won’t waste any time playing some of those quality foes. After opening on Feb. 4 at Schreiner (Texas), OC will visit a pair of Heartland foes, St. Mary’s (Texas) on Feb. 5 and St. Edward’s (Texas) on Feb. 6. St. Mary’s ended last season ranked No. 1 and reached the third round of the Division II College World Series, while St. Edward’s qualified for the Division II tournament.
OC’s home opener at Dobson Field will be against new conference rival Oklahoma Panhandle State on Feb. 13.
Before February is finished, the Eagles will play at Rogers State, the 2012 NAIA runner-up, on Feb. 25 and host perennial NAIA power Oklahoma Baptist the next day. Rogers State – a former Sooner Athletic Conference rival that will join OC in the Heartland Conference in the 2013-14 school year – will make the return trip to Oklahoma City on March 15.
St. Mary’s will visit Oklahoma City on March 21, with St. Edward’s set to come on March 27.
The move into the Division II membership process will allow OC to renew rivalries with two programs the Eagles used to play annually. OC will host East Central in a doubleheader on March 16 and travel to Ada to play the Tigers three days later. On March 25, the Eagles will visit Durant for a doubleheader at Southeastern Oklahoma State.
OC will host another school in the Division II membership process, longtime rival Southern Nazarene, on March 5 and April 26, then travel to Bethany to play the Crimson Storm again April 27.
In their first games against a Division I foe in recent years, the Eagles will visit Texas-Arlington on April 2-3. UTA is coached by OC alumnus Darin Thomas, who played for the Eagles in the 1980s.
The Eagles will close their season May 2, hosting conference rival Newman (Kan.).