The Webster University baseball team's outstanding season came to a surprising close as the Gorloks lost, 3-2, in 11 innings to Rose-Hulman Institute (IN) on May 15, at the NCAA III Moline Regional. With two straight losses Webster, who came into the regional as the #1 ranked team in the d3baseball.com Poll, was eliminated.
Webster had won two straight regionals in 2012 at Millington and 2013 at Moline, to advance to the NCAA III Championships both years and had high hopes entering into this year's regional.
After a leadoff double in the bottom of the 11th inning by Rose-Hulman off Dylan Dean Smith, a bunt single put runners at the corners. A walk loaded the bases for the Engineers as the Gorloks brought in right fielder Brett Buchanan (SR, Villa Park, IL/Willowbrook HS) for a fifth infielder behind the mound.
A single into center field brought in the winning run for Rose-Hulman, eliminating Webster from the regional. Smith (SR, Albion, IL/Edwards County HS), who had done a great job in relief up to that point, took his first loss of the season, falling to 8-1. Smith went 4 2/3 innings, giving up seven hits, two walks, and one run.
Webster had to come from behind in the eighth inning to tie the game. With one out, Matt Wollnik (FR, Naperville, IL/Neuqua Valley HS) and Corey Lasky (SR, Vernon Hils, IL/Adlai E Stevenson) singled, and Ryan Hall (SR, Chesterfield, MO/Eureka HS) reached on an error to load the bases. Taylor Stoulp (SR, St. Louis, MO/St. Mary's HS) delivered the big blow with a two-run single up the middle to tie the game.
The Gorloks fell behind 1-0 in the bottom of the first as the Engineers had a one-out single against starter Chris Jansen (JR, Cicero, IN/Bishop Chatard HS). After a stolen base, another single put runners at first and third. A double sent one run home but Jansen ended the threat with a pair of strikeouts, sandwiched between a hit batsman.
Rose-Hulman increased its lead in the sixth with a leadoff single, sacrifice bunt, and another single. An Engineer double scored one before the rains came and forced a 50-minute delay. Smith took over for Webster and recorded a strikeout and a fly out to right to end the threat.
Webster challenged in the seventh. Joe Winckel (SR, Bonne Terre, MO/North County HS) doubled, and Jeff Kammer (JR, Chesterfield, MO/Lafayette HS) was hit by a pitch. But the next two Gorloks flew out.
Jansen went 5 1/3 innings, giving up eight hits, no walks, and two runs, striking out five.
Stoulp was 2-5, with two RBIs, as the Gorloks had eight hits for the second straight afternoon. The potent Webster offense had trouble scoring at Moline, plating three runs in twenty innings.
An outstanding season came to an end as the Gorloks tied the team high for wins, went 26-0 in winning its fifth straight SLIAC Championship, and attaining the #1 ranking in the country, the first time for any sport at Webster.