By Jim Dixon
GRAND CHUTE, Wis. -- Cal Lutheran came out with more energy and it showed as the Kingsmen forced a third D-III Championship Series game later in the day with a 12-4 win over Washington and Jefferson in the 2017 NCAA D-III College World Series on neurosciences group field at Fox Cities stadium.
Cal Lutheran starter Nate Wehner pitched a complete game four-hitter with eight strikeouts. Wehner was efficient, setting down the Presidents in order five of the nine innings. Wehner received plenty of support as the Kingsmen rapped out 22 hits. Brad Fullerton and Trey Saito led Cal Lutheran with four hits apiece.
|Nate Wehner pitched a complete game, saving the bullpen for Game 3 of the Championship Series.
Photo by Steve Frommell, d3photography.com
Brad Fullerton (pictured) and Trey Saito led the 22-hit Cal Lutheran attack with four hits each.
Cal Lutheran took no time in getting on the scoreboard with two runs in the first. W&J starter Bryce Schnatterly hit Max Weinstein on his first pitch. Sinjin Todd's single and Jimmy Jauregui's walk loaded the bases for Weston Clark. Clark's groundout was fielded by the first baseman who's errant throw to second allowed Weinstein and Todd to score.
W&J responded in kind with one run in the first. Derek Helbing walked and in a move more commonly seen in ballet, avoided the tag on his steal of second. Nick Gatins' single to center cut the Kingsmen lead in half.
With base running snafus for the Kingsmen in the first and second that left runs unscored, Cal Lutheran added another run in the third. Jauregui's one-out single was followed by a HBP and another single to load the bases. Cheynne Giles' sacrifice fly scored Jauregui.
Cal Lutheran knocked out Schnatterly in the fifth en route to a 7-1 advantage. The Kingsmen opened with four straight singles with Giles and Trey Saito getting RBIs. Austin Kay's fielder's choice and Weinstein's single ended the scoring for Cal Lutheran and the day for Schnatterly.
W&J added a run in their half of the inning but it did not slow the Cal Lutheran offense. Cal Lutheran added three in the sixth and one in the seventh.
Cal Lutheran scored their last run in the ninth and the Presidents finished with four runs generated by a parade of pitch hitters.
This marks the first time in the three years of the Championship Series format that a third game has been needed.