Top teams advance to championship games

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Sophomore Garrett Crum is congratulated by senior Jamie Lackner and junior Drew Tornow after his first of two home runs on Friday.
NCAC athletics photo ny Russel Kramer

Sophomore Garrett Crum crushed a pair of two-run home runs to put ninth-ranked Wooster comfortably ahead, senior Jamie Lackner mashed a grand slam as part of a nine-run seventh inning, and sophomore Jacob Stuursma put the bow on a five-hit game with a three-run round-tripper as the Fighting Scots moved into the championship round of the 2017 NCAC Tournament with an 18-3 win over DePauw on Friday afternoon at VA Memorial Stadium. Wooster and DePauw will meet again in the championship round as the Tigers topped Oberlin 13-5 in an elimination game.

  • Playoff Central: All scores from the final D-III weekend of the regular season and tournament results for the last month.

UW-Whitewater won two games at Prucha Field at James B. Miller Stadium in Whitewater to advance to the championship game of the 2017 WIAC Championship. The Warhawks will play the winner between UW-Stevens Point and UW-La Crosse. The top-seeded Warhawks defeated UW-Oshkosh 8-4 in their first game, and followed with a 12-2 win over second-seeded UW-La Crosse in the night's final game. Since the tournament uses a double-elimination format, the Warhawks will have two opportunities to capture their fifth tournament championship title on Saturday.

Three teams remain in the hunt for a NEAC title after the completion of three games during the first day of the tournament. A late-game meltdown on the mound by No. 4 Keuka College allowed No. 1 Penn State Abington to grab a 5-4 win in the opening game of the NEAC tournament. No. 3 Penn State Berks took advantage of eight errors by No. 2 Penn College to score nine unearned runs en route to a 13-1 victory in game two. In the first elimination contest of the tournament both teams played hard but Penn College prevailed over Keuka 10-6. The final game of the day was halted because of darkness with Penn State Abingdon and Penn State Berks tied 3-3 in the 6th.

Gunnar Quick dove head first safely into home plate after a wild pitch at 11:40 p.m. to give No. 6-ranked Texas-Tyler to a 9-8 win over East Texas Baptist in 13 innings of the first game of the ASC Championship Gold Bracket finals at Irwin Field. The Patriots are now one win away from winning their third straight ASC Championship, while the Tigers will look to stave off elimination and force an if-necessary game.

The top two seeds scored solid wins on the first day of the AMCC tournament. #2 seed Penn St. Behrend took on #6 Mount Aloysius in game one and won 5-3. The Lions' Justin Rohrer threw a complete game 5-hitter, striking out eight. In game two, the three time defending champions and host La Roche fell into a 3-0 hole early to #5 Pitt-Bradford but added eight unanswered runs and finished with a 15-6 victory. Johnathan Spina finished 5-for-6 with Two runs scored and two RBI for La Roche. Play continues Saturday in the double elimination tournament as Mount Aloysius and Pitt-Bradford will square off to stay alive, followed by the winners bracket game.

Senior Tommy DePaul had three hits, scored twice, had two RBIs, and stole three bases leading DeSales past Manhattanville, 8-4, in the opening game of the MAC Freedom Tournament at Owls Field. The top seeded Bulldogs advance into the winner's bracket and will play Misericordia. King's registered just three base hits as the third-seeded Monarchs dropped a 6-0 decision to second-seeded Misericordia and will face Manhattanville.

It was a crazy day of baseball in the nation's capital as Elizabethtown blasted Susquehanna, 14-6, and topped Catholic in thrilling fashion, 8-7, to ensure they'll play for a Landmark championship on Sunday. The Blue Jays entered this weekend's Landmark Baseball Championship tournament as the No. 3 seed, but are the lone unbeaten after Friday's opening day and is guaranteed at least two shots to win its first Landmark title and first conference title since the MAC Commonwealth championship in 2009. The Blue Jays will meet the winner of Saturday's Catholic/Susquehanna elimination game.

Sophomore Andrew Hiller snapped a 3-3 tie in the sixth inning with an RBI single down the right-field line and later scored as Southern Maine went on to defeat Eastern Connecticut State 5-3 in an elimination game of the 2017 Little East Conference Championship Tournament at Ed Flaherty Field. In other games Friday, Mass-Dartmouth defeated Mass-Boston 8-7 in the completion of a halted game from Thursday. UMass Boston came right back to knock off Keene State 6-3 in an elimination game.  After USM's game, UMass Boston was leading UMass Dartmouth 10-4 with one out in the top of the ninth inning when the game was halted due to darkness.

Nationally-ranked and top-seeded St. John Fisher needed two wins to stay alive in the Empire 8 Championship, but head coach Brandon Potter's team was up to the task as the No. 14 Cardinals bested Elmira before earning a walk-off win against Stevens at Dugan Yard. With the wins, Fisher advanced to Saturday's championship game against the Ithaca College Bombers who earned their spot in the finale after beating Stevens 4-1 earlier in the day. Ithaca sophomore Jake Binder tossed his third complete game of the season to improve to 8-1 on the season.

Day two's first game saw Luther pick up a win 2-1 over Central and advance to face Dubuque and precede to eliminant the Spartans with a 4-3 win. Wartburg defeated the tournaments other undefeated team, Buena Vista 9-6. In their third game of the day, Luther fell to Coe 8-6 with Coe moving on and face Buena Vista on Saturday with a trip to the championship game on the line. The final day of the IIAC Tournament will begin with the elimination game between Coe and Buena Vista with the Knights awaitin the winner.

The pairings are set for the MIAC championship game on Saturday. Macalester and Bethel will face each other in the championship. Bethel rebounded to beat host Saint John's and Macalester topped St. Thomas in the afternoon games, while Bethel defeated St. Thomas in the evening tilt to earn a spot in the championship. The number 4 seed Macalester took a large early lead against St. Thomas and hung on for their second win of the tournament. Bethel eliminated Saint John's from the tournament with a 2-1 victory. The Royals faced the Tommies in the evening matchup. Bethel squeaked by with a 3-2 victory over the Tommies, eliminating St. Thomas.

Top-seed Keystone and second-seed Immaculata are set to meet for the 2017 CSAC championship after a full day of action at PNC Field. The Giants, in the first of three games, defeated Neumann by a score of 7-0 to advance to the championship series. Immaculata climbed its way back through the loser’s bracket, defeating Gwynedd Mercy 20-7 in the elimination game. Then, the Mighty Macs defeated Neumann 9-4 in the final game of the night. The Giants need to win just one game, while Immaculata needs to win two games to earn the title and the conference’s automatic qualifier.

Earlham is hoping to keep their Cinderella season going in the championship round of the HCAC tournament.
HCAC athletics photo

Fate has to make up its mind in the HCAC tournament. Which Cinderella story does it like best? It's down to No. 1 seed Earlham Quakers, who have never won this tournament since joining the conference in 2011. For that matter, have never won any conference tournament. Ever. It's also down to Mount St. Joseph, who hadn't even qualified for this tournament in nine years. But these are the two remaining HCAC teams standing. Mount St. Joseph had a pair of late-inning escapes Friday, first knocking out defending champion Rose-Hulman 3-1, then Manchester 4-2. The Quakers moved through in the winner's bracket with an 8-2 victory over Manchester.

Augustana and North Central will face off for the CCIW Tournament title on Saturday at Noon. The Vikings advanced to the championship game with a 4-3 win over the top seeded Cardinals as senior Zach Morgenstern picked up the victory on the mound as he went the entire nine innings. He scattered seven hits, allowed two earned runs and totaled 12 strikeouts while throwing 166 pitches. North Central staved off elimination with a 2-0 shutout over Illinois Wesleyan in the following game as Evan Blunk pitched eight innings, gave up five hits, with no walks and five strikeouts.  In the opening game, Illinois Wesleyan eliminated Wheaton (Ill.) 11-0 to reach the elimination finale.

The pivotal second-round game of the NACC tournament pitted the top-seeded Concordia-Chicago Cougars against the host school and second seed, the Concordia (Wis.) Falcons. In the end, the Cougars got it done with CUC's comeback from a 4-1 deficit in the eighth inning to a 5-4 victory. The Falcons will Play MOSE who beat Dominican 2-1 and Aurora 3-2.

For the second consecutive season, Beloit has reached the MWC Championship Tournament title game.  The Buccaneers beat the host, Grinnell, in their first game of the day, 14-2 and squeaked by St. Norbert, 2-1, in the nightcap. St, Norbert won their first game 9-2 over Cornell, who turned their fortunes around and eliminated host Grinnell 15-7. The Buccaneers will play the winner of tomorrow’s opening game between Cornell and St. Norbert, needing just one game tomorrow to clinch their second straight MWC title and another trip to the NCAA Tournament.

Mount Union right fielder Nate Owen made a game-saving diving catch with his back to the infield at the wall for the final out as the Purple Raiders beat Marietta, 7-5. The catch put Mount Union in the championship game against Otterbein. Earlier Otterbein defeated Mount Union 3-1 and will need to lose twice if the Purple Raiders are to win the OAC tournament. One win by the Cardinals gives them the title and a NCAA playoff bid.

The 2017 UMAC tournament championship round will see the top two seeds face off as No. 2 Bethany Lutheran staved off elimination for a rematch with No. 1 St. Scholastica. The game between BLC and CSS featured two of the top UMAC pitchers this season in Martin Alcoverde of the No. 1 Saints and Brandyn Olsen of No. 2 Bethany Lutheran. Unfortunately, though, for the Olsen, the Vikings committed several costly errors early that theey couldn't over come in the 10-1 loss. UW-Superior held off a comeback from Minn-Morris for a 12-11 victory before falling to Bethany Lutheran in the evening elimination game.

Tommy O'Hara, who had moments before tied the game with a double, came sliding headfirst underneath the tag at home plate off a single by Nick Falkson to give Tufts a wild 5-4 win over Amherst in the second game of the NESCAC Championship at Colby. The Jumbos will meet Middlebury after Middlebury took a 3-2 win against Bates in the first game. Amherst will play Bates in a bid to stay alive in the tourney.

The second west seed, Westminster, holds the cards in the SLIAC tournament after defeating Webster in the winners game. Webster got there with a 3-1 win over Spalding and Westminster, a 5-0 win over Greenville. Greenville ended Spalding's tournament run with a 6-1 win and will open the Saturday slate with Webster.

Grove City rallied for a 6-4 victory over top-seeded Washington & Jefferson in the winner's bracket final of the Presidents' Athletic Conference Tournament at Ross Memorial Park. The third-seeded Wolverines will play in the conference championship game in a rematch with Washington & Jefferson. Bryce Schnatterly scattered four hits with one walk and three strikeouts over seven innings of work to earn his seventh win of the season, leading the Washington & Jefferson to the Championship round berth with a 10-1 win over Thomas More. Thomas More defeated Thiel 6-5 in the day's first elimination game.