Whitewater, Wis. - The University of Wisconsin-La Crosse baseball team earned a 11-2 victory over The College of St. Scholastica (Minn.) Thursday morning in the first round of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division III Midwest Regional at UW-Whitewater's Prucha Field at James B. Miller Stadium. The Eagles improve to 29-17 on the season and advance to play at 4:30 p.m. Friday, May 19 versus UW-Whitewater.
St. Scholastica (Minn.), ranked 23rd on this week's D3baseball.com Top-25 Poll, drops to 32-9 on the season. The Saints will play Friday, May 19 at 10 a.m. versus St. Norbert College (Wis.).
The regional follows a double-elimination format with the winner advancing to the NCAA Division III Championships May 26-31 at Neuroscience Group Field at Fox Cities Stadium in Appleton, Wisconsin.
With the win, UWL improves to 13-7 all-time in NCAA Division III Midwest Regional. The Eagles have advanced to the NCAA Division III Championships in Appleton the last two seasons after winning the regional title at Copeland Park in La Crosse.
UWL, seeded fifth in the regional, took a 1-0 lead in the top of the third inning Thursday. Nate Roethle walked to start the inning, stole second and advanced to third on a failed pick off attempt. Joel Zyhowski later singled with one to knock in Roethle.
St. Scholastica (Minn.), the fourth-seed in the NCAA III Midwest Regional, tied the game in the bottom of the third on a Tyler Duex solo home run. The Saints took a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the fourth on Eric Pearson's two-out solo home run.
UWL tallied six runs on five hits and two St. Scholastica (Minn.) errors in the top of the sixth to take a 7-2 lead. Nate Heili scored on a Saints' fielding error to tie the game at 2-2. Alex Brown's fielder's choice scored Nick Pescheck for a 3-2 advantage. After Sam Prissel reached on the second St. Scholastica (Minn.) error of the inning, Roethle's single scored Brady Stolzman to make it 4-2. Zyhowski's two-out two-run single knocked in Brown and Prissel and Heili's RBI single scored Roethle with the final run of the inning. UWL scored four unearned runs in the inning.
The Eagles added four runs in the top of the ninth. Mitch Sutton's two-run double scored Carter Hoffman and Pescheck for a 9-2 lead. Prissel's RBI single scored Sutton and Roethle's RBI groundout knocked in Brown.
Caleb Boushley (9-2) earned the win for UWL, pitching 8.0 innings, allowing three hits, two runs and one walk while striking out seven. After allowing Pearson's home run in the fourth, Boushley retired the next 10 batters and only one runner reached base with that coming on a Boushley throwing error. He has pitched at least 7.0 innings in all 12 of his starts this season.
Lucas Schultz pitched the ninth inning for UWL, recording one strikeout.
UWL totaled 15 hits with Heili and Pescheck each finishing 3-for-5. Zyhowski, Prissel and Roethle each had two hits with Zyhowski finishing with three RBI. Seven of nine starters had a hit for the Eagles.
Grant Rindal (6-2) suffered the loss for St. Scholatica (Minn.), going 5.1 innings, allowign seven hits, six runs (three earned) and one walk while striking out four. The Saints used five relievers in the game. Duex, Pearson and Steven Neutzling each had one hit for St. Scholastica (Minn.).