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Baseball - Mon, May 2, 2016
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CHICAGO, Ill. -- The Judson baseball team concluded their CCAC regular season Monday afternoon with a double-header sweep of Saint Xavier (Ill.). Even with a seven game lead over the Cougars, the games played great importance in determining the conference regular season champions. The Eagles needed a sweep and hoped that Olivet Nazarene would split with Purdue-North Central to be called the out-right champions. But as it would play out, both Judson and Olivet Nazarene took care of business Monday and finished as CCAC Regular Season Co-Champions. 


The Co-Championship is now the fourth regular season title that Judson has won or shared in the last five years. Judson won out right back-to-back in 2012 and 2013 while sharing the regular season title in 2014 and now 2016. The Eagles have finished 36-18 overall and totaled their second best conference record in program history at 24-5.


So what's next? With an uneven number of teams in the conference this season, Olivet and Judson have played an unequal amount of games. Judson with a 24-5 record and Olivet with a 24-6 record end the season tied as a one game difference reflects the uneven amount of games played by both teams. With the sweep of Saint Xavier and Olivet's sweep of Purdue-North Central the Eagles and Tigers will now have a one game playoff to determine the number one seed in the conference tournament and the conference's first automatic bid to the NAIA Opening Round Regional.


The game will take place at Silver Cross Field in Joliet, Illinois with a 7:00pm start time. As said before, the winner will receive the number one seed in the CCAC conference tournament starting Friday, and the first conference bid to the NAIA Opening Round Regional. The game will not be counted as a conference game or a post-season game. Live coverage will be provided through the Olivet Stretch Internet portal, judsoneagles.com, or through @JUAthletics twitter handle.


The Eagles stayed calm and collected throughout the double-header against Saint Xavier. Mark DeYoung (SR/Plainfield, IL) took game one on the mound and Miguel Villafane (SO/Elgin, IL) followed up in game two. The two pitchers collectively put together two great performances as DeYoung went a complete game to improve to 9-1, and Villafane went six and a third to collect his seventh win this season. Judson fought from behind in both games and put together two big innings in game one and two. 


In game one, SXU took a 3-1 lead over Judson before the Eagles responded with a four run inning in the top of the fifth. Three shutout innings later pitched from DeYoung sealed game one with a 5-3 win. Four Eagles went 2-for-4 including Tanner Kehrer (SO/Belvidere, IL), Josh Krueger (FR/Romeoville, IL), Conor Grove (SO/Frankfort, IL), and DeYoung. Luke Rojas (SR/St. Charles, IL) led the Eagles going 3-for-4 with a run and a RBI. Game two was almost identical with SXU going ahead 2-1 after the third inning followed by a three run inning from Judson. L.J. Austin and Alec Berry (FR/Batavia, IL) would combine with Villafane to pitch eight shutout innings to preserve the 5-2 lead for the win. Rojas and Krueger both went 3-for-5 with one RBI a piece, and Tevin Brown (JR/Chicago, IL) held down the bottom of the order going 2-for-4 with one run and two RBI's.