La Crosse, Wis., May 15, 2015 – No. 2 seed University of Wisconsin-La Crosse scored a pair of runs top of the 13th inning as the Eagles posted an 8-6 win over No. 3 seed Washington University in St. Louis in a winner's bracket game Friday at the 2015 NCAA Division III Midwest Baseball Regional held at Copeland Park in La Crosse, Wis.
In a game that was suspended Thursday with WashU leading 6-5 after two innings, the 20th-ranked Eagles shut out the Bears for the final 11 innings of play to move into the finals of the winner's bracket to take on Coe College at 7:45 p.m. Friday.
WashU falls to 34-15, and takes on No. 3-ranked and defending national champion University of Wisconsin-Whitewater Friday at 4:30 p.m.
"The effort was fantastic today. We played with confidence, but could not get a lot going offensively," said fifth-year head coach Steve Duncan. "We are disappointed with the outcome, but the guys should be proud of their effort and know that they belong here."
Sophomore Brad Margolin took the ball in the third and cruised through the first three innings allowing just two hits. Margolin gave up a leadoff double and a balk to start the sixth, but induced a ground ball to third where sophomore Austin Darmawan threw out a runner at home. Margolin got out of the inning with a 6-4-3 double play to end the threat.
Neither team scored until the ninth when Justin Anderson singled through the middle with two outs to tie the game at 6-6. Sophomore Matt Clohisy came in and got the final out.
WashU had a golden opportunity in the 11th after junior Max Golembo walked with one out and then sophomore CJ Price singled to left and moved to second after Golembo beat the throw to third. Jameson Sadowske got senior Chris Lowery to pop up to first and then senior Zack Kessinger grounded out on the first pitch to end the threat.
Sophomore Bill Heisler took the ball in the 13th and gave up a one-out triple to Alex Cordova. After an intentional walk, senior Ian Kelso relieved Heisler and UW-La Crosse responded with a safety squeeze to score Cordova to make it 7-6. Bryan Barsness added an RBI single to left to push the lead to 8-6.
Heisler (0-1) took the loss allowing one hit and one earned run in 1/3 of an inning. Senior Max Zhang made the start for WashU and lasted just two innings allowing six hits and five runs (four earned). Margolin was sensational out of the bullpen allowing seven hits and one earned run in 6 2/3 innings pitched, while Clohisy was almost perfect in 3 1/3 innings allowing just two hits. Kelso allowed three hits and one earned run in 2/3 of an inning.
Kessinger went 4-for-6 with a season-high four RBIs and a run scored and became WashU's all-time RBI leader with 162. Senior Andrew Goldstick was 3-for-5 with a walk, run scored and a stolen base, and moved into seventh all-time in career hits (180).
UW-L scored three runs on three hits in its first at-bat of the game. After getting the first out of the game, Zhang gave up a double to right by Taylor Kohlway and then a bloop RBI single to center by Justin Anderson. Ben Morgan then launched a pitch from Zhang over the left-field fence to push the lead to 3-0.
The Bears answered back in the bottom half of the first with a pair of runs after a deep two-run homer to right by Kessinger. It was Kessinger's first homerun of the season and fourth of his career.
UW-La Crosse (30-12) answered back with two runs (one earned) in the second inning to take the 5-2 lead. Cordova had an RBI single in the inning for the Eagles.
With UW-L starter Ben Cejka struggling to throw strikes, the Bears answered right back. Senior Brandon Deger led off with a single, and then after two walks came around to score on a wild pitch. A third walk loaded the bases, and then Kessinger drove in two runs with a two-out bloop single to left. Senior Brian Cizek followed with an RBI single to make it 6-5 as WashU scored four runs on three hits in the inning before the game was suspended.
BEAR NOTEBOOK: WashU is 4-17 all-time in NCAA postseason play … Kessinger has reached base in 54 straight games dating back to last season, third most all-time in Division III history … The Bears set a single-season school record with 367 runs scored … WashU is 2-3 against top-25 teams this season … Kessinger has 23 multi-hit games this year and 73 in his career.