Warhawks survive Friday
WHITEWATER With the season on the line Friday night, UW-Whitewater baseball coach John Vodenlich turned to his new secret weapon who looks more like someone men’s basketball coach Pat Miller might need.
With Aurora runners on first and third and no one out and Whitewater trailing, 5-4, Vodenlich called in reliever Jack Larsen. The 6-foot-7 Larsen got out of the inning without a run scoring and pitched four perfect innings in the Warhawks’ 6-5 10-inning victory.
The win capped off the Warhawks’ productive day that began with the team eliminating its season-long nemesis UW-La Crosse.
Whitewater defeated WIAC foe La Crosse, 10-7, ending the six-game losing streak to the regular-season league and tournament champion.
The Warhawks advanced to today’s elimination game against Saint Scholastica (34-10) at noon. If Whitewater wins that game, it will move into the championship round against top-seeded Saint Thomas (37-8) at 3 p.m.
“The road isn’t getting any easier,” Vodenlich said late Friday night. “But I feel really good about the Saint Scholastica matchup. I like the way our pitching is shaping up.”
The Warhawks would have to defeat Saint Thomas both today and once on Sunday to advance to the World Series that is held at Grand Chute starting Friday at Time Warner Cable Field at Fox Cities Stadium.
That will take a major effort on the part of the Warhawks, but the task became less difficult with the two victories Friday.
The Warhawks scored the winning run against Aurora in the 10th when Travis Wessels singled, stole second and came home on an error.
David Cladis had a key two-run single in the Whitewater sixth to put his team ahead, 4-2.
Aurora responded with three runs in the bottom of the inning to take a 5-4 lead.
Whitewater tied it in the eight when Delavan-Darien graduate Michael Gonzalez reached on an error. Pinch runner J.T. Schneider stole second and scored on Steve Bartlein’s single.
The main story was Larsen, who came in to relief starter Tom Kerndt. Kerndt allowed just two earned runs in six innings before getting into a jam in the sixth.
Larsen was a starter last season for the Warhawks, but struggled a bit this season with his three-quarters slot arm delivery.
Just a few weeks ago, Warhawk pitching coach Ryan Callahan went up to Vodenlich.
“He said, ‘Hey, you have to look at this. It’s pretty good.’”
Callahan, a Janesville Parker High graduate, was talking about the submarine delivery Larsen was working on. Vodenlich gave the go-ahead, and Larsen has delivered ever since.
“He’s just filthy,” Vodenlich said about the 6-foot-7 righthander whipping the ball from just off the ground toward the plate. “He throws from just an unbelievable arm angle. Righthanders don’t have a chance.”
The Warhawks snapped a six-game losing streak against La Crosse in the first game of the day.
Kyle Stewart (8-2), who transferred to Whitewater from Division I Western Carolina for his senior season, pitched eight strong innings before the Eagles rallied for six runs in the ninth to make things interesting.
Whitewater’s Jared Fon hit a two-run homer in the first inning to put the Warhawks ahead for good.
The Warhawks added three runs in the fifth, and Matt Beyer put Whitewater ahead, 10-1, in the seventh inning with a three-run homer. It was the Janesville Parker High graduate’s sixth homer of the season.
That proved to be needed when La Crosse six times on six hits in the ninth and had the tying run at the plate.
“It was just one of those things,” Vodenlich said about Stewart. “I knew he was out of gas. Our whole dugout knew he was out of gas. But I wanted to get a senior a complete game.
“They strung four or five hits together. I probably should have taken him out a lot earlier, but I was trying to get him a complete game.”
That was about the only thing that went wrong for the Warhawks on Friday.
WHITEWATER 6, AURORA 5
Whitewater (ab-r-h-rbi)—Beyer, lf, 6-1-1-0; Friend, cf, 5-1-1-1; Fon, 3b, 5-0-1-0; Herum, 1b, 5-1-2-0; Leavitt, dh, 4-1-1-0; Gonzalez, rf, 4-0-0-0; Schneider, pr, 0-1-0-0; Mierow, rf, 1-0-0-0; Bartlein, ss-pr, 3-0-2-1; Wessels, pr-ss, 1-1-1-0; Egnarski, c, 2-0-1-0; Cladis, 2b, 4-0-1-2. Totals: 40-6-11-4.
Aurora (ab-r-h-rbi)—Mackey, 3b, 5-0-0-0; Olavarria, 2b, 5-0-0-0; Adams, cf, 3-1-0-0; VanAsdlen, 1b, 5-0-0-0; Walden, dh, 5-1-0-1; Foley, rf, 5-1-1-0; Davidson, lf, 4-2-2-0; McMahon, c, 3-0-0-0; Wilson, ss, 4-0-2-3. Totals: 39-5-5-4.
Whitewater 200 002 010 1—6
Aurora 010 013 000 0—5
E—Gonzalez, Bartlein 3, McMahon, Wilson 2. DP—Aurora 2. LOB—Whitewater 10, Aurora 7. 2B—Friend. Sac—Egnarski. SB—Schneider, Wessels, Adams 2, Davidson.
Whitewater IP H R ER BB SO
Kerndt 6 5 5 2 3 5
Larsen (W, 3-2) 4 0 0 0 0 3
Buonamici 5.2 8 4 3 2 0
Sitterly 1.2 2 1 0 1 0
Gilbertson 2.2 1 1 0 0 2
WHITEWATER 10, LA CROSSE 7
La Crosse (ab-r-h-rbi)—Cefalu, cf, 5-1-2-0; Braga, rf, 5-1-1-0; Cordova, dh, 5-2-3-3; Fanta, 1b, 4-1-1-0; Harazin, c, 4-0-1-0; Jacobson, 2b, 5-1-2-2; Burmeister, lf, 5-0-1-0; Novinski, 3b, 2-0-1-0; Paulson, ph-3b, 2-0-0-0; Geary, ss, 4-1-1-1. Totals: 41-7-13-6.
Whitewater (ab-r-h-rbi)—Beyer, lf, 5-1-1-3; Friend, cf, 5-2-3-1; Fon, 3b, 5-1-1-2; Herum, 1b, 4-0-1-0; Leavitt, dh, 5-1-2-0; Gonzalez, rf, 4-1-3-1; Schneider, pr, 0-0-0-0; Mierow, rf, 0-0-0-0; Bartlein, ss, 5-1-0-0; Egnarski, c, 3-2-2-1; Cladis, 2b, 2-1-1-0. Totals: 38-10-14-8.
UW-La Crosse 000 100 006—7
UW-Whitewater 201 130 30x—10
E—La Crosse 1, Whitewater 1. LOB—La Crosse 9, Whitewater 10. SAC—Cladis. SB—Novinski, Leavitt, Schneider, Egnarski. 2B—Cordova 2, Jacobson 2, Friend. HR—Beyer (6), Fon (7).
La Crosse IP H R ER BB SO
Johnson (L 5-1) 9 7 6 5 1 5
Debilzen 1/3 0 0 0 1 0
Lauersdorf 3 2/3 5 3 3 1 4
Stewart (W 8-2) 8 2/3 12 7 7 1 7
Roberts 1/3 1 0 0 1 0
In other games Friday, it was:
n Aurora 11, St. Norbert 5—Tim Mackey, Brett VanAsdlen and Cory Walden each drove in two runs to lead Aurora past the Green Knights.
Aurora built a 9-1 lead in eliminating St. Norbert (27-13).
AURORA 11, ST. NORBERT 5
Aurora 120 110 222—11 14 3
St. Norbert 000 100 031—5 7 2
Warnecke, Ozlanski (8) and Payne; Mason, Schadrie (5), Schadrie (9) and Hillesheim.
Leading hitters—VanAsdlen (A) 3x4, Walden (A) 2x5, Foley (A) 2x5, Davidson (A) 2x4, Wilson (A) 2x4, Mason (SN) 3x5, Rottier (SN) 2x4. 2B—Adams (A), Walden (A) 2, payne (A), Rottier (SN). 3B—Davidson (A). HR—Mackey (A), Mason (SN).
SO—Warnecke (A) 2, Ozlanski (A) 2, Schadrie (SN) 1. BB—Warnecke (A) 3, Ozlanski (A) 1, Mason (SN) 2, Schadrie (SN) 2.
n St. Thomas 22, St. Scholastica 2—The Tommies had no problem in this matchup of undefeated teams in regional play.
St. Thomas (37-8) scored 11 times in the fifth inning to take a 16-0 lead. Catcher J.D. Dorgan drove in five runs and scored five times.
Four St. Scholastica pitchers threw a total of 191 pitches.
ST. THOMAS 22, ST. SCHOLASTICA 2
St. Thomas 300 291103 030—22 21 0
St. Scholastica 000 002 000—2 5 2
Maher, Clute (5), Wendinger (8), Kubitschek (9) and Dorgan, Kellen; Swenson, Wuorio (4), Houdek (5), Snyder (5) and Moody, Henderson.
Leading hitters—Hogan (ST) 2x7, Bruchu (ST) 2x4, Thomas (ST) 3x4, Dorgan (ST) 3x5, D. Reichert (ST) 2x2, N. Reichert (ST) 3x4, Novak (ST) 3x6; Juberlan (SS) 2x3. 2B—Bruchu (ST), Dorgan (ST), D. Reichert (ST) 2x2, N. Reichert (ST). 3B—N. Reichert (ST). HR—Kuzniar (ST), Bruchu (ST), Thomas (ST), Dorgan (ST), Jensen (SS).
SO—Maher (ST) 6, Clute (ST) 2, Kubitschek (ST) 1, Snyder (SS) 2. BB—Maher 1, Clute 1, Wendinger (ST), Swenson (SS) 2, Wuorio (SS) 1, Houdek (SS) 3, Snyder 1.