|Ripon celebrates its first-round win vs. UW-Whitewater.
Photo by Chris Mitchell for Ripon athletics
Two top seeds fell within minutes of each other on Wednesday afternoon in the first day of the 2015 Division III baseball regionals, as Mid-Atlantic 8-seed Penn State-Berks survived top-seeded Kean's ninth-inning rally and Midwest 8-seed Ripon busted the game open late to defeat defending national champion UW-Whitewater.
Kyle Hartman scattered 11 hits and threw a complete game, lifting No. 8 seeded Penn State-Berks to a surprising 5-4 win vs. top-seeded Kean on the first day of the Mid-Atlantic Regional. He outdueled the Cougars' Matthew Wagner, who was making his first start of the season.
Left fielder Luke Erb and shortstop Keeanu Erb combined for all five RBI for the Nittany Lions, who entered the tournament at 20-17-1 and didn't even win the NEAC tournament. They won the automatic bid because the conference was won by Penn College, a first-year provisional D-III member which is not eligible for the postseason.
Nick Schmitt busted the game open with a seventh-inning grand slam for Ripon and the Redhawks finished off a 15-7 win, ending UW-Whitewater's eight-game postseason win streak. Ripon will face Coe in the winners' bracket on Thursday. Mike Nompleggi, making his fourth start of the season for UW-Whitewater, was touched up for four runs, three earned, in three and two-thirds innings.
Scott Nelson tossed a complete-game three-hit shutout to lead Washington to a 2-0 win over Concordia-Chicago. Nelson retired the first 17 batters of the game before allowing a two-out single with two outs in the sixth. The midwest host team, UW-La Crosse scored six eigth inning runs to break open a close game and take a 10-3 win over St. Scholastica.
Brett Early fired eight shutout innings and Nick Byrd pitched a scoreless ninth as La Verne blanked top seed and host Texas-Tyler, 2-0, on Wednesday at Irwin Field. The Patriots out-hit the Leopards 10-6 but was 0-for-9 with runners in scoring position. The second game of the day was suspended and will be restarted Thursday with Trinity (Texas) leading Linfield 4-0 in the middle of the sixth inning. Trinity's Ryan Gray ends his day without a hit allowed.
Amherst needed extra innings to kick off the Auburn Regional as Harry Roberson hit a game-winning RBI single in the top of the 11th inning Wednesday to give fifth-seeded Amherst a 7-5 win over fourth-seeded Oswego State. Cortland survived a scare with a 6-4 win over Oberlin. Oberlin entered the eight inning with a 4-3 lead but was unable to keep the Red Dragons off the scoreboard in the final two innings. RPI scored a pair of first inning runs and made them stand to defeat Keystone 2-0. Old Westbury built a 6-0 lead and held on for a 7-5 win as Baldwin Wallace mounted a comeback with five late runs.
Webster leftfielder Charlie Gand took a 3-2 pitch for a bases-loaded walk in the ninth inning that scored Ryan Fischer with the game-winning run and Webster escaped with a 4-3 win over Carthage. When Carthage tied the score at 3-3 in their half of the ninth, it looked like 2014 when then top seeded Webster exited the regional, 0-2. The Waterloo Regional top seed, UW-Stevens Point, did not have any trouble with Greenville as the Pointers defeated the Panthers 7-4. Connor Alberhasky earned a win and Jack Hoffmann's third save ended the La Crosse Regional opener as Coe defeated St. John's 4-2. Wartburg placed the tieing run on third in the ninth inning but was unable to plate him as Anderson held on to a 4-3 win over the host Knights.
|Alvernia's Kevin Becker-Menditto tied the NCAA Division III career saves record with his 46th save.
Alvernia athletics photo
Every starter for Salisbury got a hit and Brett Collacchi was effective for eight innings before handing off the finish to the bullpen as the Sea Gulls made a statement with a 11-1 statement win over Mitchell. Catholic had Alvernia on the ropes early but was unable to get the knockout hit as the Alvernia Crusaders came back with a 3-2 win in the final game of the York Regional. Alvernia will play Misericordia, a 6-4 winner over Johns Hopkins.
MIT opened a 2-0 lead after in the the first inning but that was all they would get as Salem starter Sean Buckland tossed a shutout the rest of the way leading the Vikings to a 6-2 win to kick off the 2015 regional playoffs. Shyler Scates scattered six hits over nine innings as top-seeded Southern Maine defeated eighth-seeded Suffolk 4-0 at Whitehouse Field. Castleton State gave up two runs in the eighth inning and couldn't muster any offense in extra innings as Ramapo eventually came through with a walk-off single in the bottom of the 11th inning to secure a 4-3 victory.
Pacific Lutheran survived three errors in the first inning and the Lutes and Emory Eagles combined for nine errors. At the end it was AJ Konopaski locking down the 9-6 game for his 11th save of the year. Top seeded Rhodes opened the Demorest regional with a 7-4 win over Methodist. Birmingham-Southern capped off a day where, over three regionals, south region teams went 4-2. The Panthers used two late runs to break a 1-1 tie to advance in the winners bracket of the Demorest Regional with a 3-1 win over Marietta.
Frostburg State is looking right at home at Ross Memorial Park. And it's easy to see why. Frostburg State starter Greg Schneider struck out 10 batters and the top-seeded Bobcats cruised to a 7-1 win over sixth-seeded Washington & Jefferson. South region teams continued their success in the Washington Regional as Shenandoah kept their record perfect in opening games of NCAA Regionals, now at 7-0, with a 5-1 win over Adrian. The Hornets will face Heidelberg. All season long the Student Princes have not given in until the final at-bat and that is what shortstop Joey Rydzewski was thinking before stepping to the plate in the bottom of the 10th inning for Heidelberg. The freshman came through in the clutch to cap off a 4-for-5 game, hitting a walk-off single to send the Student Princes to a 6-5 win over La Roche.