|UW-La Crosse finished second in 2015 and are hungrier than ever for the Walnut and Bronze.
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Follow this regional
May 21: All times Eastern
Final - 11 innings
St. John's 7, at Concordia-Chicago 5Video | Box Score | Recap | Live stats | Audio
By Austin Walther
Once again the No. 1 team in the Midwest Regional is from the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. UW-La Crosse will look to defend its title and go back to the World Series with an opening round matchup against the Midwest Conference tournament champions Beloit.
After coming in as one of the top two seeds in the Midwest Conference tournament, the Buccaneers played Grinnell for the first time all season and defeated them twice for the automatic qualifier. Making another appearance in the Midwest Regional after winning the Northern Athletic Collegiate Conference is Concordia-Chicago who drew the regional No. 2 seed and will play Kalamazoo, from the Mideast Region. The Hornets defeated the top seed in the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association, Adrian, right away in the conference tournament and topped Hope twice to claim the championship.
North Central (Ill.) is also coming over from the Central. The Cardinals shared the regular season College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin title with Augustana, but landed the two seed because of a tie breaker and lost twice to settle for an at-large bid into the Midwest. They will play another Central Region team in Luther. The Norse ended the regular season with a four-game sweep of Dubuque and won the next four to claim the Iowa Intercollegiate Athletic Conference tournament championship. The four-five matchup features a pair of conference tournament champions from the Midwest. For the third consecutive year, St. Scholastica was a game away from finishing undefeated in the Upper Midwest Athletic Conference and won three tournament games to claim the automatic qualifier. St. John’s avoided playing rival top seed St. Thomas in the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference tournament and defeated St. Mary’s twice to claim the tournament championship.
La Crosse Regional schedule
Wednesday, May 18
Game 1 - No. 4 St. Scholastica (31-9) vs. No. 5 St. John's (Minn.) (28-12), 10 a.m.
Game 2 - No. 1 UW-La Crosse (34-8) vs. No. 8 Beloit (27-12), 1:15 p.m.
Game 3 - No. 3 North Central (Ill.) (27-12) vs. No. 6 Luther (32-12), 4:30 p.m.
Game 4 - No. 2 Concordia Chicago (32-11) vs. No. 7 Kalamazoo (24-18-1), 7:45 p.m.
Thursday, May 19
Game 5 - St. Scholastica vs. Beloit, 10 a.m.
Game 6 - North Central (Ill.) vs. Kalamazoo, 1:15 p.m.
Game 7 - St. John's (Minn.) vs. UW-La Crosse, 4:30 p.m.
Game 8 - Luther vs. Concordia Chicago, 7:45 p.m.
Friday, May 20
Game 9 - North Central (ill.) vs. St. John's (Minn.), 10 a.m.
Game 10 - St. Scholastica vs. Luther, 1:15 p.m.
Game 11 - UW-La Crosse vs. Concordia Chicago, 4:30 p.m.
Game 12 - St. John's (Minn.) vs. Luther, 7:45 p.m.
Saturday, May 21
Game 13- St. John's (Minn.) vs. Concordia Chicago, 12 p.m.
Game 14 - UW-La Crosse vs. St. John's (Minn.), 3:30 p.m.
UW-La Crosse advances
Meet the teams
UW-La Crosse is hosting the Midwest Regional and they are the favorite to get back to Appleton after defeating UW-Whitewater twice in the WIAC tournament over the weekend. The Eagles have two players in the top ten for offense. They have plenty of experience returning from a team that made it to the finals last year.
Most likely to disappoint
After being on top of the Central regional for three consecutive weeks, North Central is placed as the number three seed and only at-large team in the Midwest Regional. After losing a three-game series to Augustana earlier in the season, the Cardinals lost out on hosting their conference tournament. With two loses on Saturday to Augustana and Illinois Wesleyan, North Central will play teams outside of their region.
For the past two weeks Concordia-Chicago has been second in the D3baseball.com Midwest Regional rankings. After sweeping through the NACC tournament, the Cougars are back in regional play where they were a game away from the championship in 2015, and with Whitewater in the Central Regional, Concordia has its eyes set on knocking off another WIAC team.
Players to Watch
C Mitch Knippenberg, Luther (.377, 42 R, 55 H, 4 HR, 47 RBI)
1B Justin Anderson, UW-La Crosse (.445, 45 R, 73 H, 16 2B, 9 HR 69 RBI)
1B Nick Sotiros, North Central (Ill.) (.405, 26 R, 66 H, 22 2B, 3 HR, 41 RBI)
2B Cole Weaver, St. John’s (.394, 39 R, 52 H, 10 2B, 19 RBI, 8 SB)
SS Andrew Massey, Concordia-Chicago (.410, 34 R, 55 H, 16 2B, 32 RBI, 8 SB)
3B Brian Minks, St. Scholastica (.403, 56 R, 60 H, 16 2B, 38 RBI, 14 SB)
OF Taylor Kohlwey, UW-La Crosse (.494, 65 R, 82 H, 19 2B, 7 HR, 48 RBI, 11 SB)
OF Austin Colvard, St. Scholastica (.425, 47 R, 68 H, 32 RBI, 20 SB)
OF Mike Gulve, Beloit (.310, 42 R, 44 H, 12 2B, 25 RBI, 7 SB)
SP Eric Palmer, Concordia-Chicago (6-0, 1.48, 80 K, 22 BB)
SP Caleb Boushley, UW-La Crosse (8-0, 1.38, 4 CG, 68 K, 14 BB)
SP/RP Ryan Orr, Kalamazoo (8-3, 1.71, 3 SV, 8 CG, 70 K, 12 BB)
SP/RP Ryan Kaveney, Beloit (8-3, 2.01, 1 SV, 85 K, 15 BB)
RP Nick Noack, St. John’s (7-1, 1.63, 3 SV, 27 K, 11 BB)
UTIL Patrick Strey, St. John’s (.405, 38 R, 60 H, 19 2B, 46 RBI)
UTIL Michael Mateja, North Central (Ill.) (.349, 39 R, 52 H, 19 RBI, 18 SB)