WHITEWATER, Wis. – Facing a three-run deficit heading to the eighth, the UW-Stevens Point baseball team plated runs in the eighth and ninth innings to force extras, where junior Casey Barnes and sophomore Riley Spetz each drove in a run, giving the Pointers another dramatic victory in the 2013 NCAA Division III Midwest Regional.
The victory leaves UWSP as the only undefeated team in the six-team, double elimination tournament. The Pointers will face the winner of Friday morning's elimination game between host UW-Whitewater and six-seeded St. Scholastica. The Pointers take the field at 6 p.m. on Friday.
The Pointers grabbed the early lead, 2-0, in the second, when a double by Bobby Gregorich brought home Spetz and Gregorich scored on a groundout by Brandon Kranz.
Whitewater answered with a three-run third inning and tacked on two more runs in the sixth, taking a 5-2 advantage.
A Ryan Schilter run-scoring single in the eighth set the table for another dramatic last-inning comeback.
A double by Casey Barnes cut the deficit to one and a Whitewater error on a Kranz at-bat scored Barnes, knotting the score at 5-5, forcing extras.
In the 10th, a Barnes groundout scored Gerber and a Spetz single scored Jimmy Coady, giving the Pointers a two-run lead heading to the bottom of 10.
A run-scoring triple by Sam Keller Jr. cut the UWSP lead to one, but Luke Watson, celebrating his 21st birthday, closed out his relief appearance by striking out JT Schneider looking to end the game and keep the Pointers in the winners bracket.
Watson earned the win in relief of Jacob Herbst, who threw eight complete, allowing five runs, all earned, and struck out five.
UW-Whitewater's Justin Lambert, who threw eight inning, scattering eight hits, six hit batters, two balks, and three walks, received a no decision. Reliever Curtis Morgan suffered the loss, allowing three runs, two earned.
UWSP's victory came despite stranding 15 runners on base and committing four errors.