APPLETON, Wis. – The No. 14 University of Wisconsin-Whitewater baseball team capped its ninth consecutive appearance in the NCAA Tournament Saturday with a pair of setbacks in the NCAA Championship round at Fox Cities Stadium.
The Warhawks (34-17 overall), who were in the midst of their 20th NCAA Tournament appearance, including the program's eighth trip to the national championship round, were downed 5-3 to start the day against No. 11 La Roche (Pa.). The team was eliminated from the postseason in its nightcap, a 4-3 defeat against No. 25 St. John Fisher (N.Y.).
In the second game of the day, the Cardinals (39-12) hit a chopper with the bases loaded and one out in the bottom of the ninth to end the affair.
Sophomore pitcher Lake Bachar (Wheaton, Ill./Wheaton North) took the tough-luck loss for UW-Whitewater, allowing just one earned run on seven hits while striking out nine over eight-plus innings of work. He finishes his season with an 8-6 record.
Sophomore centerfielder Daytona Bryden (Rockton, IL/Hononegah) paced the Warhawks with a pair of hits. Freshman third baseman Cal Aldridge (Crystal Lake, Ill./Prairie Ridge) also reached base twice.
UW-Whitewater opened the contest against St. John Fisher with three runs in the top of the first on run-scoring hits by junior third baseman Steve Chamberlain (Rockford, IL/Guilford) and freshman left fielderMatt Wary (Elk Grove, Ill./Elk Grove). Chamberlain came around to score on a wild pitch to round out scoring in the frame.
The Cardinals tallied two in the bottom of the first and another in the bottom of the second to tie the game. All three runs were unearned.
The Warhawks had a golden opportunity to take the lead in the top of the ninth with runners on first and third and one out, but St. John Fisher turned a 4-6-3 double play to end the frame.
In the opener, the Warhawks nearly erased a five-run deficit over the final two innings, but came up just short in their comeback bid against La Roche (42-10).
Senior catcher Dane Burman (Milton, Wis./Milton) started the rally with a solo home run to lead off the bottom of the eighth.
With two outs in the bottom of the ninth, Burman singled home another run, and sophomore right fielderAustin Jones (Wauwatosa, Wis./West) brought UW-Whitewater to within two runs on a run-scoring base hit to center.
The Warhawks then brought the go-ahead run to the plate, but were unable to push another run across.
Senior right-handed pitcher Curtis Morgan (Green Lake/Green Lake) took the loss, falling to 7-3 on the year after tossing the first five innings. Sophomore Heath Renz (Jefferson, Wis./Jefferson), juniors Ankur Shah (St. Charles, Ill./St. Charles North) and James Georgakas (Ellsworth, Wis./Ellsworth) combined to allow only one run over the last four innings.
Burman and Jones combined to collect four of UW-Whitewater's eight hits in the contest.