UW-La Crosse Advances in NCAA III Regional with Win at UW-Whitewater

Whitewater, Wis. - The University of Wisconsin-La Crosse baseball team advanced in the winner's bracket at the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division III Midwest Region with a 5-2 victory at third-ranked UW-Whitewater Friday night at Prucha Field at James B. Miller Stadium. The Eagles improve to 30-17 on the season and advance to play at 4:30 p.m. Saturday, May 20 versus the winner of Adrian College (Mich.) and Concordia University-Chicago (Ill.).  Adrian and Concordia-Chicago were set to play Friday night.

It marks the fourth time in school history UWL has won at least 30 games in a season. The Eagles won a school record 39 games in 2016. UWL won 36 games in 2015 and 34 in 2012.

UWL, seeded fifth in this year's NCAA III Midwest Regional, opened the tournament with a 11-2 victory over fourth-seeded and 23-ranked The College of St. Scholastica (Minn.) May 18.

UW-Whitewater, the top-seed in the NCAA III Midwest Regional and ranked third on this week's D3baseball.com Top-25 Poll, drops to 36-8 on the season. The Warhawks will play the University of St. Thomas (Minn.) Saturday, May 20 at 10 a.m. in an elimination game.

UWL picked up its first win in school history over UW-Whitewater in NCAA III Midwest Regional play. The Warhawks had won the previous two postseason meetings with the Eagles (both in Whitewater), including 10-7 in 2012 and 13-3 in 2014. Prior to Friday's win, UWL had dropped six of seven meetings with UW-Whitewater this season (all in Whitewater).

The Warhawks took a 1-0 lead in the top of the second inning Friday on Mike Aiello's RBI single scoring Steve Chamberlain.  The Eagles tied the game in the bottom of the second as Nick Pescheck scored on Nate Roethle's two-out single.

Matt Wary's fielder's choice in the top of third scored Brett Krause to give UW-Whitewater a 2-1 advantage. UWL responded in the bottom of the inning with two runs on three hits.   Nate Heili reached on a fielder's choice and advanced to second on Carter Hoffman's one-out double. Pescheck followed with an RBI single to score Heili and tie the game at 2-2. Hoffman then scored on Brady Stolzman's RBI groundout to give UWL a 3-2 lead.

Alex Brown doubled to start the bottom of the sixth for UWL and later scored on a UW-Whitewater throwing error on Sam Prissel's sacrifice bunt to make it 4-2.  The Eagles added to their lead in the bottom of the eighth as Roethle scored an unearned run on a Warhawks' throwing error.

After a strikeout to start the top of the ninth, UW-Whitewater drew a pair of walks off Zach PronschinskeConnor Cook came in relief and retired Blake Fleischman on a strikeout and Krause on a fly-out to center field to end the game.

Mason McMahon (6-1) earned the win for UWL, pitching 6.0 innings, allowing five hits, two runs and five walks while striking out one. Pronschinske went 2.1 innings, allowing two walks with one strikeout.  Cook recorded his first career save, going 0.2 of an inning with one strikeout. 

UWL had nine hits Friday night with Pescheck, Roethle and Joel Zyhowski each finishing with two.

Austin Jones (8-3) suffered the loss for UW-Whitewater, pitching 8.0 innings, allowing nine hits, five runs (three earned) and four walks with seven strikeout. The Warhawks were held to five hits as Aiello went 2-for-4.