Warhawks stay alive in D3 World Series

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Chris Etheridge/Special to the Gazette
Saturday, May 24, 2008
— Whenever Adam Dominick’s mother sees a hawk on the way to her son’s game, she knows it’s going to be a good one.

So when a hawk spent a good part of two innings soaring over Fox Cities Stadium during the UW-Whitewater Warhawks’ game Saturday, she might have felt a little relief.

“I don’t read too much into it,” said Dominick, who threw a two-run, seven-hit complete game as the Warhawks (40-9) stayed alive in the NCAA Division III World Series with a 10-2 victory over Cortland State. “But I know our parents really get a kick out of it. We saw their pitcher look up and see it, and we thought we might be starting to get to him.”

Whitewater now faces Johns Hopkins (41-6) at noon today.

In addition to the win, Dominick’s complete game gives the Warhawks an opportunity to start Aaron Dott against their next opponent, said Whitewater coach John Vodenlich. The lefty sophomore is 6-1 with a 3.56 earned-run average.

“Dott knew we were going to use him if we needed him today,” he said. “But with Dott fresh, I think that puts us in a great situation.”

After scoring only one run Friday, the Warhawk bats came alive Saturday as Whitewater knocked Cortland State freshman starter Travis Ratliff from the game after 5q innings. He allowed four runs on four hits and three walks while striking out nine.

Cortland State took a 1-0 lead on a second-inning fielding error by Whitewater shortstop Greg Harder.

But Harder got his redemption in the top of the third. Joe Munn doubled to left-center to start the inning. After Billy Johnson flied to left, Harder advanced Munn when he beat the throw on a slow grounder to short. Ben Kuhlmann sent Munn home with a grounder to third base. Kuhlmann ended the inning trying to steal second.

“A lot of times we look at the score at the end of the game, but almost every baseball game has a deciding moment or several deciding moments,” Vodenlich said. “Being able to score a run and then not let them score or being able to score some runs and not let them have a big inning, we have struggled with that this year but we did it today.”

The Warhawks kept pounding in what ended as the highest offensive output so far in the tournament.

Kevin Zalnis hit a two-run home run to the left-field corner in the fourth inning. With one more home run, the junior ties a single-season school record at 18.

Hitting behind him, Ben Prather was 3-for-5 with two runs scored and an RBI. He drove in Jeff Donovan with the Warhawks’ fourth run with a double to the wall in left center in the sixth. Also reached base and scored in the eighth and ninth.

“It’s nice to hit behind Zalnis because you get to see some good pitches to hit,” Prather said. “You kind of take it personal when they intentionally walk someone to get to you.”

The Warhawks also got big days from Donovan, who finished 1-for-3 with two walks and two runs scored, and Zalnis, who was 2-for-4 with a walk, two RBIs and two runs scored.

The Red Dragons, to no avail, blew through six pitchers trying to slow the Warhawk attack.

Last updated: 9:05 pm Thursday, December 13, 2012

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