Warhawks KO nation's No. 1 team
The UW-Whitewater right fielder hit a towering solo home run to center at Fox Cities Stadium on the first pitch of the eighth inning off Chapman University’s star pitcher to help lift the Warhawks to a 7-4 win over D3baseball.com’s No. 1-ranked team at the NCAA Division III World Series.
Whitewater (41-9) lives to play another day and faces another elimination game at noon Monday against Adrian College or Linfield College, which beat the Warhawks in Friday's opening round. The Warhawks, who can now finish no worse than fourth, will need to win four games over two days to capture the championship.
The Warhawks had a three-run lead going into the eighth, but Chapman capitalized on an error by Ben Prather and wild pitch from starting pitcher Aaron Dott to score two runs and get back into the game.
Munn’s blast and another run on Ben Kuhlman’s sacrifice fly to drive in Billy Johnson put the Warhawks back on top by three.
“I know that as long as I can keep them to four or less, our hitters are going to take care of the rest,:” Dott said. “It was nice to see our hitters getting it done.”
Munn’s home run came off of reliever Wayde Kitchens, who pitched 6 2/3 innings in Chapman’s win over Kean University on Friday. The home run was the first he had allowed in 12 appearances and 70 innings this season.
After scoring a single run in the tournament's opening round, the Warhawks have put 17 on the scoreboard in their next two games.
Dott pitched 7 1/3 innings, allowing four runs on five hits and three walks.
“It was an exceptional performance,” Whitwater coach John Vodenlich said. “We felt that we had the right person pitching today and that proved to be the case.”
Dott stayed ahead of most batters. He had 16 first-pitch strikes against the first 27 batters he faced and went to two strikes with ten of the first 18 batters. He didn’t walk anyone until the fifth inning.
“I was just hoping to stay ahead of them,” Dott said. “I was making sure that I was in a pitcher’s count and then hitting my locations.”
Jason Hooper relived Dott with runners on first and second and a 5-4 score with one out in the eighth. He gave up a wild pitch that advanced both runners, but then forced Tristan Phillips to pop out to second and Ryan Hall to fly to right.
The Warhawks scored all but two of their runs with two outs. Jeff Donovan’s 11th home run of the season came with two runners on and two outs in the fourth inning.
Munn also scored in the second inning on a Greg Harder single with two outs and drove in Prather with a two-out, fifth-inning single.
Munn was also the hero of the outfield Sunday. The Pleasanton, Calif., native saved a run in the fifth inning on a diving catch over his shoulder. With runners on second and third and the score 4-2, Munn initially moved in on a fly ball hit by Chapman’s Ryan Prechtl, but then jumped back to near the warning track to grab the ball and prevent both runs from scoring.
Most of the scoring so far in the tournament has come from the bottom of the Warhawks’ lineup. Leadoff hitter Kuhlmann is 0-for-12 in three games with one RBI.
No. 2 hitter Donovan is 3-for-11 with three runs and three walks and No. 3 hitter Thomas Corcoran is 2-for-8 with a run and a double. The two other batters in the third spot combined for two strikeouts and a sacrifice bunt in Saturday's game.
Meanwhile, Kevin Zalnis finished 1-for-4 Sunday with a single in the seventh inning. He is still one home run away from tying the single-season school record at 18 home runs. Pat Tobiasz set the mark in 1998 and Brady Endl matched it in 2004.
WHITEWATER 7, CHAPMAN 4
Chapman (ab-r-h-rbi)—Prechtl cf, 4-1-2-2; Yacko ss, 5-1-1-0; Vass rf,
3-0-1-0; Hyman dh, 2-0-0-1; Ohail 1b, 3-0-0-0; Phillips 3b, 4-0-0-0;
Hall lf, 4-2-1-0; Pearson c, 2-0-1-0; Redding 2b, 4-0-0-0. Totals:
Whitewater (ab-r-h-rbi)—Kuhlmann 2b, 4-0-0-1; J. Donovan 1b, 4-1-1-3;
Corcoran dh, 5-0-2-0; Zalnis 3b, 4-0-1-0; Prather lf, 4-1-2-0; Stine
cf, 4-0-0-0; Munn rf, 2-2-2-2; Johnson c, 4-2-2-0; Harder ss, 3-1-1-1.
Chapman 001 010 020-4
Whitewater 010 310 02x—7
E—J. Donovan, Zalnis, Prather, Harder. LOB—Chapman 7, Whitewater 8.
HR—J. Donovan, Munn.
IP H R ER BB SO
Sigman (L, 10-2) 6 1-3 9 5 5 1 2
Kitchens 1 2-3 2 2 2 1 2
Dott (W, 8-3) 7 1-3 5 4 3 3 3
Hooper (S, 1) 1 2-3 1 0 0 1 0