By Chris Lindeke
Assistant Athletic Director, Strategic Communications and Branding
University of Wisconsin-Whitewater
Saturday, May 22, 2021
The No. 5 ranked University of Wisconsin-Whitewater baseball team captured its third straight conference tournament title and seventh all time Saturday afternoon with a 13-9 victory against UW-Stevens Point in the final game of the 2021 Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Baseball Championship Presented by Culver’s at Prucha Field at James B. Miller Stadium in Whitewater.
With the win, the Warhawks (37-5 overall) secure the league’s automatic bid to the NCAA Division III Championship, which begins with the regional round next week. UW-Whitewater will host a six-team, double-elimination regional tournament starting Thursday at Miller Stadium.
The NCAA will announce the 48-team national tournament field on Sunday night on NCAA.com.
Trailing 9-6 with two outs in the bottom of the seventh, first baseman/pitcher Donovan Brandl singled through the left side with two outs, and was brought home by left fielder Matt Korman, who doubled the opposite way to trim the deficit to two runs. After a pinch-hit, run-scoring hit to center by Ben Wilkins, catcher Ryan Norton extended the inning further with another hit to put two on with two outs.
On a 1-0 count, centerfielder Zach Campbell hit a double to deep right center field to plate Wilkins and Norton and give the Warhawks (37-5 overall) the lead for good.
Ben Muscatello got the first two outs in the top of the eighth, and Brandl came on for the final out, inducing a fielder’s choice ground ball to end the frame.
Korman provided insurance in the bottom of the eighth with a two-out, three-run homer out to left center field to account for the final margin.
Brandl stayed in the game on the mound and pitched a 1-2-3 ninth inning for his first save of the year.
Kade Lancour pitched a scoreless seventh inning and earned the win, improving to 2-1 on the season.
UW-W took the early lead with two runs in the bottom of the first inning on consecutive two-out, run-scoring hits by right fielder Jacob DeMeyer and Brandl.
The Pointers (32-11) took the lead on a three-run homer in the top of the fourth, but the Warhawks responded with three in the bottom half on a sacrifice fly by Campbell and a pair of wild pitches.
The two teams traded runs in the fifth inning and, with UW-Whitewater leading 6-4, UW-Stevens Point plated five runs in the top of the sixth to take a three-run advantage.
Korman tallied four of UW-W’s 17 hits and collected three runs scored and four RBIs. Campbell posted two hits and three RBIs, and shortstop Nick Santoro finished 3-for-5 with two runs scored. Brandl collected three hits, one run scored and one RBI, and DeMeyer registered one hit, two walks, three runs scored and one RBI. Norton scored two runs with one hit, and designated hitter/pitcher Connor Moroder knocked in one run with a sacrifice fly.
Connor Spear started on the mound for the Warhawks and pitched 4 1/3 innings, striking out six. Moroder got out of a two-on, one-out jam in relief of Spear in the fifth and pitched 1 2/3 frames.
UW-Whitewater will play in its 13th consecutive NCAA Tournament and 23rd in program history.