Warhawks heading to World Series
Although it probably seemed like it to the St. Scholastica bullpen.
The Saints’ bullpen surrendered four runs in the seventh inning, including Australian native Brent Young’s three-run homer that allowed UW-Whitewater to battle back from a 3-2 deficit and win the NCAA Division III Midwest Regional baseball championship.
With the thrilling victory, Whitewater (36-11) moves on to its first NCAA Division III College World Series since 2008 and makes up for last year’s disappointing regional final loss to UW-Stevens Point.
The Warhawks will join an eight-team field at Fox Cities Stadium in Grand Chute and play at 4:30 p.m. Friday against the Bloomington, Ill., Regional champion.
“Last year, I think, was an important part of the whole story,” Whitewater coach John Vodenlich said. “I can’t say this for sure, but maybe if we won here (the regional final) last year, then maybe we have a lit tle less drive this year. That loss was a part of everybody who was on the team last year.”
The Warhawks’ drive also needed a little bit of patience Saturday.
St. Scholastica starting pitcher Matt Lewis, who threw 12 innings on Wednesday, kept the Warhawks off balance through five innings before running into trouble in the sixth.
One inning later, the bottom fell out for the Saints.
After starting the seventh with a leadoff walk, Whitewater’s Daniel Putnam rounded the bases on Andrew Eichstaedt’s single and Saints right fielder Kyle Flagstad’s fielding error. That tied the game at
Then, after a St. Scholastica pitching change and a Jeff Donovan walk, Young followed with a long three-run homer to left that gave Whitewater its
“After the 2-0 pitch to me, the catcher ran out to the mound, and coach Vodenlich called me down the line and said, ‘You’re going to get a fastball. Try to get something in the zone and put a barrel on it,’ ” Young said. “And when you swing the bat, good things happen sometimes.”
Good things were happening to St. Scholastica for the first half of the game.
Brandon Peterson broke a scoreless tie in the fourth with a double off the scoreboard in right.
The Saints made it 3-0 in the sixth on RBI doubles from Kyle Moody and Jake Casareto.
Whitewater was left wondering how much Lewis had left in the tank.
Lewis finally allowed Donovan’s RBI double and Dylan Friend’s walk with the bases loaded that cut the lead to 3-2 in the sixth. Saints coach Corey Kemp then removed Lewis from the game.
“It was tough to take Lewis out,” Kemp said. “I wanted the ball in his hands, and he did well for us. He kept us in the game against a good team. He was very good for us today.”
But the Saints’ bullpen couldn’t hold the lead and eventually watched Whitewater celebrate a regional championship after going 4-0 in the double-elimination tournament.
“We had confidence in all the guys we put out there and expected them to do well,” Kemp said. “But that was a pretty good team who we were trying to get out.”
Whitewater proved to be too good for the Saints and the rest of the six-team regional field. And, yes, the World will go on with the Division III World Series—with the Warhawks in it.
WHITEWATER 6, ST. SCHOLASTICA 3
St. Scholastica (ab-r-h-rbi)—Marshik, 2b, 5-0-1-0; Link, cf, 3-0-0-0; Flagstad, dh, 2-2-0-0; Moody, c, 4-1-2-1; B. Peterson, 1b, 4-0-3-1; Greening, lf, 4-0-1-0; Casareto, 3b, 4-0-1-1; Jubertan, rf, 4-0-1-0; C. Peterson, ss, 3-0-1-0. Totals: 33-3-10-3.
Whitewater (ab-r-h-rbi)—Putnam, rf, 4-1-0-0; Eichstaedt, ss, 4-1-1-0; Coe, c, 3-1-1-0; Donovan, 1b, 3-2-2-1; Young, dh, 3-1-1-3; Fon, 3b, 3-0-0-0; Beyer, lf, 3-0-0-0; Friend, cf, 3-0-1-1; Wessels, 2b, 2-0-0-0; Leavitt, ph, 1-0-0-0; Cladis, 2b, 1-0-0-0. Totals: 30-6-6-5.
St. Scholastica 000 102 000—3
UW-Whitewater 000 002 40x—6
E—Saint Scholastica 1, Whitewater 1. LOB—Saint Scholastica 7, Whitewater 7. DP—Whitewater 1. SB—Link. 2B—Moody, B. Peterson, Casaretto, Donovan, Friend. HR—Young (4).
St. Scholastica IP H R ER BB SO
Lewis 5 2/3 4 2 2 5 3
Marningham (L,4-1) 1/3 1 2 2 1 0
Ubl 2 1 2 2 2 1
Tincher 5 7 3 3 1 4
Last updated: 1:55 pm Monday, March 4, 2013