Benedictine University Takes Down 15th Ranked UW-Whitewater

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AUBURNDALE, Fla. - The Benedictine University baseball team packed it spring trip schedule with tough games, and slowly built momentum each game against nationally ranked foes before breaking through against 15th ranked UW-Whitewater on Friday, posting a 7-3 victory.

Kevin Crowley set the tone from the outset, following up the complete game shutout from Mark Belcastro yesterday with a gem of his own. Crowley retired the first nine batters of the game and went through 5.2 no-hit innings against a team that had scored 25 runs in a pair of contests yesterday.

Benedictine built momentum behind Crowley early, posting a pair of first inning hits. The Eagles were able to break through in the second with a pair. Steve Cocat led off with a single and Tim Hendricks followed with a walk. With one out, Adam Carroll, making his first start of the season, singled through the left side to open the scoring. A two-out error allowed the other run to score.

Two more runs in the third extended the margin to 4-0. Ryan Mullin induced a one-out walk and Tom Higgins followed with a hit and run single on the first pitch, moving Mullin to third. Higgins moved to second on an errant throw to third. Coact rolled an RBI single up the middle to plate Mullin and make it a 3-0 edge. Moments later Hendricks singled home Higgins.

Whitewater's J.T. Schneider, who was the first batter to reach base, tallied the first hit of the game with two outs in the sixth. Benedictine responded with a single run in the bottom of the inning to jump ahead 5-0. Chris Wanderling led off the inning by reaching on an error and scored with two outs when Ryan Mullin hurt his former team with a triple into the right-field corner.

The Warhawks finally touched Crowley in the seventh, using four hits including a pair of doubles to claw within 5-1. There may hve been more but Nick Karakosta stabbed an early liner and doubled off a runner at second. Benedictine again answered, scoring in the bottom of the frame when designated hitter Brandon Clark logged an RBI single.

Crowley worked into the ninth before leaving with the bases loaded and one out. The junior lefty pitched 8.1 innings and surrendered three runs (two earned) on seven hits with a pair of walks and three strikeouts. The 15th ranked Warhawks threatened in the ninth, loading the bases and striking for a pair of runs before Shay Wagner recorded a strikeout of a pinch hitter to secure the upset.

The 3-4-5 hitters in the lineup each logged a pair of hits as Mullin, Higgins, and Cocat helped drive the offense. Six different individuals drove home a run.

UW-Whitewater (4-3) has been to four consecutive NCAA Division III World Series. Benedictine (6-4) will wrap up its spring trip on Saturday with a doubleheader against St. Olaf at 11:00 a.m. EST at Chain of Lakes.