UW-Whitewater Baseball ends season at NCAA DIII Regional - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

UW-Whitewater Baseball ends season at NCAA DIII Regional

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The No. 1 ranked University of Wisconsin-Whitewater baseball team’s incredible 2018 season came to a close Sunday with a pair of setbacks at the NCAA Central Regional at GCS Ballpark in Sauget, Ill.

The Warhawks were downed by Rhodes (Tenn.) by a 6-3 score and against Texas-Tyler by a 4-1 count in the tounament’s final game of the day.

UW-Whitewater concludes the 2018 campaign with a 33-8 record, claiming its fifth Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference regular season championship with a 20-4 mark. The team was in the midst of its 11th consecutive appearance in the NCAA Tournament.

In the winner’s bracket game against Rhodes (32-14), a five-run third inning by the Lynx broke a 1-1 tie and proved to be the difference in the contest.

The Warhawks fought back on a solo homer in the fifth by junior designated hitter Cal Aldridge and a sacrifice fly by sophomore first baseman Ben Wilkins in the ninth, when the team loaded the bases with one out.

After Wilkins’ sacrifice fly, UW-Whitewater brought the tying run to the plate again but was unable to cut further into the Rhodes lead. The team left 11 runners on base in the affair.

Aldridge finished 3-for-5 with two runs batted in, and senior centerfielder Daytona Bryden collected two hits, two runs and the 81st stolen base of his career to pass Jim Bathey (1984-87) as the program’s all-time leader in steals. He also matched the season record of 29 stolen bases previously shared by Bathey (1987) and Daniel Putnam (2011). Bryden also finished the day with a .488 batting average, the highest in one season on record by 30 points.

Senior pitcher Heath Renz took the loss, dropping to 5-3 on the season. Freshman Matt O’Sullivan pitched 1 2/3 innings in relief, and freshman Westin Muir tossed four scoreless frames to finish the contest.

In the rematch against Texas-Tyler (33-17), which the Warhawks defeated 8-2 on Saturday, the Patriots tallied two runs in the second inning and never trailed in the game.

Freshman third baseman Nick Santoro plated a run on a groundout in the bottom of the second to provide UW-Whitewater with its lone run.

Senior first baseman Blake Fleischman registered two hits and one run to lead the offense.

Junior Sam Heilenbach pitched the first four innings, falling to 5-2 with the loss. Sophomore Riley Gruetzmacher and O’Sullivan finished the game, each contributing multiple-inning stints.

--UW-Whitewater Athletic Communications

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