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Warhawks lose NCAA Division III baseball opener

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Chris Etheridge, Special to The Gazette
May 24, 2008
— As one confounded UW-Whitewater batter after another walked away from the plate, the Warhawks knew they were looking at a special pitcher.

And Linfield College’s Garrett Dorn didn’t let up as the Warhawks fell 5-1 here Friday in the first round of the NCAA Division III baseball World Series at Fox Cities Stadium.


“He had the ability to throw multiple pitches,” said Whitewater coach John Vodenlich. “And when one batter got comfortable with one pitch in one spot, he would change the pitch and change the spot.”


So, in a change from their last trip here when they won the national championship in 2005, the Warhawks will be in the losers’ bracket of the double-elimination, eight-team tournament. They play Cortland State (N.Y.) (42-4) at 1:15 p.m. today. Cortland lost to undefeated Trinity, 2-1, on a passed ball in the bottom of the ninth inning.


In the Warhawks’ opener, Dorn gave up only three hits in pitching a complete game. He struck out nine and allowed just two balls out of the infield from the top five in Whitewater’s lineup.


“He located the ball great tonight,” Linfield coach Scott Brosius siad of Dorn. “And that’s a great offensive team. The only way you can shut a lineup down like that is to be able to locate more than one or two pitches.”


Whitewater’s only run came in the second inning on Jordan Stine’s towering home run to left field with two outs. Stine also sent the ball sailing in both of his other at-bats, but he couldn’t get it over the fence.


In the bottom of the third, Linfield displayed its small-ball skills. Ty Stanley reached on a bunt and advanced when Jordan Boustead hit a sacrifice bunt to Whitewater pitcher Mike Jacobson. David Bachofner drove in Stanley with a single through the left side of the infield, tying the game at 1-1.


The Oregon school took the lead with some of the same strategy in the seventh inning. Kevin Mills reached with a single to left field and moved to second on a bunt by Rhett Fenton. The Wildcats’ third baseman reached on Whitewater catcher Billy Johnson’s error while fielding the bunt.


“Billy Johnson missing the bunt in front is very uncharacteristic,” Vodenlich said. “In 100 chances, 99 times he’s going to make the play.”


Stanley advanced both runners with another sacrifice bunt for the inning’s first out. Boustead then sent Mills home with another bunt up the middle that made it 2-1.


“When the game is 1-1 and we give them one because we can’t control their small game, that’s a huge momentum swing,’’ Vodenlich said.


The Wildcats added three more runs in the eighth on a home run by catcher Drew Van Cleave.


Every Linfield run scored after the runners reach base with no outs.


“It’s really a one-run game, and it’s not that they did anything we didn’t expect, and I’m guessing we didn’t do anything they didn’t expect,” Vodenlich said. “But as far as I was concerned, it came down to our inability to defend the bunt.”


Jacobson allowed four earned runs and had two walks and three strikeouts in seven innings. Gregg Reik relieved him after two batters in the eighth and gave up one earned run on one hit in one full inning.


LINFIELD 5, WHITEWATER 1


Whitewater (ab-r-h-rbi)—Kuhlmann 2b, 4-0-0-0; J. Donovan 1b, 4-0-1-0; Corcoran dh, 3-0-0-0; Zalnis 3b, 3-0-0-0; Prather lf, 3-0-0-0; Stine cf, 3-1-1-1; Munn rf, 3-0-0-0; Johnson c, 3-0-0-0; Kenseth ss, 2-0-1-0; Schliewe ph, 1-0-0-0. Totals: 29-1-3-1.


Linfield (ab-r-h-rbi)—Ellis lf, 3-0-0-0; Chung 2b, 2-0-0-0; Bachofner ss, 4-1-3-1; Davis dh, 4-0-1-0; Cederberg pr, 0-1-0-0; Van Cleave c, 4-1-1-3; Mills cf, 4-1-1-0; Fenton 3b, 2-0-0-0; Smith pr-3b, 1-0-0-0; Stanley 1b, 3-1-1-0. Totals: 29-5-9-5.


Whitewater 010 000 000—1


Linfield 001 000 13x—5


E—Prather, Johnson, Kenseth. LOB—Whitewater 1, Linfield 6. HR—Stine, Van Cleave.


IP H R ER BB SO


Whitewater


Jacobson (L, 8-3) 7 8 4 4 2 3


Reik 1 1 1 1 0 1


Linfield


Dorn (W, 9-3) 9 3 1 1 0 9


Game notes


Whitewater’s game started nearly two hours late after Game 2 between Johns Hopkins and Adrian went 14 innings. That was the second-longest game in tournament history … Linfield coach Scott Brosius is the former major league utility player. The 2002 Linfield graduate left school when he was drafted as a junior by the Oakland Athletics in 1987. He returned to Linfield in 2001 after retiring from baseball to get his degree and serve as an assistant baseball coach and recruiter. He became head coach this season … Linfield’s Dorn is no stranger to facing Wisconsin baseball. He pitched in Linfield’s 2-1 loss to UW-Stevens Point in 10 innings in the Central Region opening round.



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