Visit websterjournal.com frequently this week, as The Journal will be previewing the 2013 College World Series, which begins Friday, May 24.
For the second time in the 27-year history of the Webster University baseball program, the Gorloks are headed to the NCAA Division III College World Series (CWS).
Webster defeated the Concordia University Cougars (Ill.) for the second time in two days to win the Central Regional championship. The Gorloks are one of eight teams headed to the CWS, which takes place May 24-28 in Appleton, Wis.
Webster and Concordia were deadlocked at 3 after 7 1/2 innings of play in the teams’ Saturday, May 18 matchup in Moline, Ill. In the bottom of the eighth inning, senior Alex Kazmierski’s two-run triple put the Gorloks ahead 5-3. Sophomore Charlie Gandolfi drove in Kazmierski with a single and junior Ian Foege’s suicide squeeze scored Gandolfi from third.
Senior Steven Dooley, the 2013 St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Pitcher of the Year, threw a 1-2-3 ninth inning to seal Webster’s second straight Central Regional championship. Webster’s 7-3 win over Concordia on Saturday took place a day after the Gorloks defeated the Cougars 8-2.
Concordia, the No. 4 seed in the Central Regional, topped No. 3 seed and Regional host Augustana College (Ill.) 9-6 earlier on Saturday to set up the winner-take-all matchup with Webster. The Gorloks were the top seed in the Regional and are ranked 12th nationally in the most recent D3Baseball.com poll. Concordia is ranked 19th.
Webster sophomore Isaac Behme and Concordia sophomore Kurt Kempema were locked in an early pitchers’ duel, as both starting hurlers allowed just 1 run each through 4 innings.
Foege, who scored the Gorloks’ first run on a wild pitch, homered to left field in the bottom of the fifth inning to give Webster a 2-1 edge.
Webster loaded the bases with nobody out in the sixth inning but mustered just one run. Senior Mitchell Bonds grounded into a 6-4-3 double play, as senior Mike Rainbolt scored from third base. Foege grounded out to end the threat.
Concordia seized momentum in the top of the seventh by scoring two runs to tie the game at 3. After Behme allowed back-to-back singles and induced a groundout, Dooley was summoned from the bullpen.
After Dooley allowed a single to load the bases and recorded a popout, Concordia designated hitter Thomas Gier hit a two-run single to right field. Dooley struck out cleanup hitter Derek Binninger to end the inning and pitched a perfect eighth to set up Webster’s eighth-inning heroics.
Webster improved to 36-10 overall with the win over the Cougars. Concordia ended its season with a 39-7 record.
The Gorloks finished fifth in last year’s College World Series. It was the program’s first-ever appearance in the CWS.
There will be a new national champion in 2013. Marietta College (Ohio) — the two-time defending champs — was eliminated by Manchester University (Ind.) in the Mideast Regional championship game on Saturday.
Six teams — Webster, Linfield, Ithaca, Millsaps, Manchester and Wisconsin-Stevens Point — have punched their ticket to the CWS. The winners of Sunday, May 19 games between Southern Maine and Endicott as well as Kean and Keystone will also advance to the CWS.
To view the Webster-Concordia box score, click HERE.
For results of the eight NCAA D-III baseball regional tournaments, click HERE.
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