La Roche wins contest between rookie teams

More news about: La Roche | St. John Fisher

Ethan Lewis was effective for the Redhawks as he battled through six innings. photo by Steve Frommell

World War II veteran Joe Cascio, age 91, threw out the first pitch on Memorial Day before the rookies took the field. photo by Steve Frommell

By Jim Dixon

GRAND CHUTE, Wis. - La Roche and St. John Fisher meet in a contest of rookie World Series teams and La Roche came out the winner with a 9-6 decision over the Cardinals in game ten of the NCAA D-III World Series at neurosciences group field at Fox Cities Stadium

"I am proud of the way our guys responded after a tough day yesterday,"said La Roche coach Chase Rowe. "We have been in the losers bracket before and we are not scared of it. I think we are prepared to keep moving forward and give Keystone a good go."

Ian Velez scored the first run and added a solo shot to left in the fourth to lead the offense. Velez ended the game 2-for-4 with two runs scored.

"He started me off with a couple of balls," said Velez. "After that I let the ball get deep and if it was there to hit, hit it. My biggest thing this year was timing. Getting the ball, taking it the other way and  for me to get in this situation and let the ball travel."

The offense came out of the bottom of the order as the last three batters accounted for seven of La Roche's 11 hits and six runs.

"Tyler Craig three hits, Shane Roebuck two hits,"said Rowe. "Two guys at the bottom for a reason. With this type of tournament and have a couple step up and have a big day. This is how you survive in these types of things."

Ethan Lewis gave the Redhawks the pitching performance they needed. Lewis earned the win with two runs on three hits in six innings. He walked five and struck out two. Trey Claar pitched two innings and Shane Emrich pitched one to close out the game.

"He kept us in the ball game," said Rowe of Lewis. "He did not have his best stuff but he did a good job in responding and maintaining, keeping the damage down. He gave us six strong. We used the bull pen a bit to give the guys some work to get ready for the rest of this thing."

Senior shortstop Mike Roman tied the St. John Fisher season hits record with his single in the fourth, giving him 76 for the year for the Cardinals.

"After you finish your career, it is not the hits, it is not the plays, it is who you played with and the memories you made with them," said Roman.

"We set goals every year and checked off a lot of those," said St. John Fisher head coach Brandon Potter. "It was a great season. At the beginning if we said this is where we ended up we would have taken it. Obviously down the stretch we could have taken it a little more."

La Roche will play Keystone in the Pool B finale. The Redhawks will need to win twice, once today and in a game on Tuesday to advance to the Championship series.