|Bethel avoided being left out of the playoffs, winning the MIAC tournament title.
d3photography.com photo by Caleb Williams
Follow this regional
May 17: All times Eastern
at Concordia-Chicago 13, Bethany Lutheran 12Video | Box Score | Recap
Meet the teams
|Concordia-Chicago makes you play every inning. Let up and you wll find yourself facing a loss.
Concordia-Chicago athletics photo
By Austin Walther
The Duluth Regional is one of three six-team regionals and if it gets cold or rainy, there will be more time to catch-up. Last year’s winner of the Midwest Regional was Concordia-Chicago and this year they’re the top seed. The Cougars have been consistently in the top-25 all season. CUC has gone 7-4 in their final 11 games with two losses coming to Aurora.
For the first time this century St. Scholastica isn’t in the playoffs. The reason for that is because of Bethany Lutheran. The UMAC has always been dominated by the Saints. They won the conference, but it wasn’t in dominating fashion. The Vikings played the Saints five times in the last seven games, went 3-2 in those matchups, but the final two wins were for the automatic bid into the playoffs where they landed the six seed and will play CUC.
Two teams are here from the Central Region and they have the honor of playing each other. North Central is a familiar face to the playoffs. The Cardinals dominated the CCIW this season, but it wasn’t pretty near the end. North Park got them twice and Concordia-Chicago gave them their last loss of the regular season. They were able to defeat North Park twice in the Conference Tourney to get into the playoffs. Dubuque has been making a steady climb in the IIAC standings in the past couple of seasons. The Spartans finally won the regular season, swept through the IIAC tournament and ended the regular season on an 11-game winning streak.
There is only one MIAC team in the playoffs this year. Bethel finished second in a conference experiencing a down season. The Johnnies were the favorite to win the tourney, but the Royals ended the season on a six-game winning streak and landed the four seed in the Midwest. Bethel will play the second team from the WIAC who fell into Pool B status this season. UW-Oshkosh is back in the playoffs and are determined to get to the World Series before it leaves Appleton. The Titans jumped into the polls at the end of March and have been there ever since. They tripped up against Illinois Tech last week, but before then they had some good wins vs. La Crosse and Stevens Point to build their resume for the playoffs.
Duluth Regional schedule
All times Central
Thursday, May 17
Game 1: No. 1 Concordia-Chicago (33-12) vs. No. 6 Bethany Lutheran (21-10), 11 a.m.
Game 2: No. 2 North Central, Ill. (28-12) vs. No. 5 Dubuque (24-15), 3 p.m.
Game 3: No. 3 UW-Oshkosh (31-8) vs. No. 4 Bethel (32-9), 7 p.m.
Friday, May 18
Game 4: Game 1 loser vs. Game 2 loser, 11 a.m.
Game 5: Game 1 winner vs. Game 3 loser, 3 p.m.
Game 6: Game 3 winner vs. Game 2 winner, 7 p.m.
Saturday, May 19
Sunday, May 20
Concordia-Chicago is obviously the favorite. The Cougars had a program-defining milestone last season when they won the Midwest and got to the World Series. That earned them respect which kept them in the Top 25 all season in 2018. Despite losing their conference tournament, they’re still the No. 1 seed and have every right to feel like they’ll be back in Appleton.
Most likely to disappoint
North Central hasn’t been getting much praise in the Top 25, but they have been consistently ranked in the Central Regional rankings by the NCAA. They faced some pretty good competition at the beginning of the season and snuck out a win against Wooster. They only lost four conference games, but the Cardinals went 4-3 to close out the season.
UW-Oshkosh are in the playoffs at the right time and have a good chance at winning the Midwest Regional. The WIAC was quietly good this season and it wasn’t put on display because of end of the season tournament was cancelled this season. The Titans were red hot in March which put them in the Top 25. They had some scattered losses in April, but managed to get at least one win against each conference opponent this season.
Players to Watch
C Taylor Grimm, UW-Oshkosh (.355, 45 R, 55 H, 17 2B, 7 HR, 51 RBI)
1B John Leach, Bethel (.363, 24 R, 45 H, 10 2B, 4 3B, 3 HR, 25 RBI)
1B Andrew Massey, Concordia-Chicago (.373, 28 R, 66 H, 14 2B, 44 RBI)
2B Kevin Harris, Bethany Lutheran (.293, 25 R, 34 H, 3 2B, 5 3B, 28 RBI, 11 SB)
3B Michael Mateja, North Central (.444, 51 R, 67 H, 20 2B, 4 3B, 4 HR, 38 RBI)
SS Jose Mercado, Concordia-Chicago (.315, 33 R, 45 H, 5 2B, 34 SB)
SS Jack Lasswell, Dubuque (.341, 34 R, 56 H, 7 2B, 23 RBI, 11 SB)
OF Mike Wisz, North Central (.417, 45 R, 70 H, 20 2B, 3 3B, 9 HR, 72 RBI)
OF Alex Koch, UW-Oshkosh (.333, 39 R, 55 H, 10 2B, 5 3B, 7 HR, 40 RBI)
OF Joe Silva, Concordia-Chicago (.392, 53 R, 74 H, 16 2B, 4 3B, 2 HR, 34 RBI, 20 SB)
OF Ross Beumer, Bethany Lutheran (.386, 28 R, 32 H, 8 2B, 5 HR, 25 RBI)
OF Sam Horner, Bethel (.369, 39 R, 55 H, 9 2B, 2 3B, 2 HR, 26 RBI)
DH Mylo Hommes, Bethany Lutheran (.349, 22 R, 29 H, 8 2B, 6 HR, 27 RBI)
UTL Dalton Garst, Dubuque (.349, 37 R, 55 H, 8 2B, 2 3B, 2 HR, 23 RBI)
SP Colan Treml, UW-Oshkosh (2.28 ERA, 9-0, 79 IP, 70 K, 16 BB)
SP Chase Kueter, Dubuque (2.25 ERA, 7-4, 6 CG, 88 IP, 75 K, 8 BB)
SP Russell Hoh, North Central (3.45 ERA, 6-0, 60 IP, 35 K, 14 BB)
RP Jake Marsh, Bethel (0.63 ERA, 3-1, 9 saves, 21 K, 3 BB)
RP Mike Formella, Concordia-Chicago (1.98 ERA, 3-1, 14 saves, 54.2 IP, 48 K, 11 BB)
RP Nathan Schneiderman, Dubuque (3.16 ERA, 3-3, 8 saves, 37 IP, 52 K, 14 BB)