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Beyer heats up for Warhawks

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THOMAS J. MILLER
May 21, 2011
— Matt Beyer is playing his own version of “Guitar Hero” during UW-Whitewater’s run through the NCAA Division III baseball regional.

“He’s the ‘local hero,’ ” said Warhawk coach John Vodenlich.


The Janesville Parker High School graduate’s hot run continued Friday. His RBI single in the sixth inning drove in what turned out to be the winning run in Whitewater’s 2-1 victory over Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference rival UW-Stevens Point.


Beyer, the strong complete-game pitching of Jeff Donovan, and spectacular fielding put the Warhawks in this position.


Beyer, the Warhawks’ left fielder, is 6-for-10 with three runs scored, two RBIs, a double, triple and two stolen bases in the three regional games.


“I think it’s just a confidence factor,” said Beyer. “I’m just going up there thinking I’m going to get a hit every time.”


That is a switch from what was going on just a few weeks ago. Beyer was slumping. His .300 batting average is comparable to his .308 average last season, but Vodenlich said his junior outfielder was struggling.


That has changed, as Beyer now is one of the Warhawks’ hottest hitters.


“I think he views the tournament as a fresh start,” Vodenlich said. “He’s making the most of it.”


Beyer delivered the game-winning single after Jared Fon had doubled with two outs and the game tied, 1-1.


Vodenlich, who is the team’s third-base coach, met Beyer halfway between third and the plate to discuss Pointer reliever Ryan Iverson, who entered the tournament with a 1.25 ERA.


“I only faced him once, and I think I flew out to center,” Beyer said. “But I hit it pretty hard.”


Beyer delivered another hard hit Friday. His line drive into right field scored Fon with the go-ahead run, and Donovan’s pitching and the Warhawk defense made it hold up.


And Beyer again was in the spotlight.


“Yesterday someone in the crowd yelled, ‘Go, Janesville Parker,’” Vodenlich said. “I asked (Beyer) if he knew who it was. He didn’t.”


It doesn’t matter.


If he continues to play like he has, Beyer and the Warhawks will be singing all the way to Fox Cities Stadium next week.



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