Donning blue road jerseys, the Webster University baseball team used a quality start from senior pitcher David Mueller and an offensive outburst in the fifth inning to defeat Washington University 11-5 in Game 1 of the NCAA Central Regional tournament on Wednesday, May 16 in Millington, Tenn.
Webster, the 2012 St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference champions, started the tournament as the fifth seed in the six-team regional and was matched up against WashU, the No. 2 seed. This was the third time the two teams met in 2012, with the two St. Louis-area clubs splitting their regular-season meetings.
Mueller earned the win by scattering nine hits over six innings while striking out four and walking two. Junior Steven Dooley picked up the save by pitching the last three innings.
Webster opened the scoring with a two-run first, but the Bears put one on the board in the third to make it a one-run game.
The Gorloks’ hitting exploded in the top of the fifth. The eight-run inning was highlighted by a two-run home run from senior first baseman and SLIAC Player of the Year Tom Henke off WashU starter Taylor Berman, a left-handed junior.
After Berman was pulled, junior center fielder Cody Stevenson poked a two-run single down the left-field line to help put the game out of reach. The hit was Stevenson’s only one as he ended the day 1 for 5.
WashU was able to put up four more runs against Webster, but the Gorloks prevailed to put themselves at 1-0 in the tournament.
Webster will play third-seeded DePauw University, which blanked fourth-seeded Emory University 2-0, in the winner’s bracket on Thursday, May 17 at 7 p.m.
WashU will take on No. 6-seeded Illinois Wesleyan on Thursday at noon in an elimination game. Illinois Wesleyan fell to top-seeded Birmingham-Southern College, 7-4, in the first round. Birmingham-Southern will have a chance to eliminate Emory in the team’s 3:30 p.m. game on Thursday.
A loss to DePauw would not end the Gorloks’ season, as the regional is a double-elimination style tournament. The winner of the Central Region will advance to the eight-team NCAA Division III championship in Appleton, Wis., which begins May 25.
For free live statistics and free video of all the Central Regional baseball games, click here.
— Josh Sellmeyer contributed to this report.