DIII Championship first day recap
Keystone, Wis.-Whitewater, Chapman, Marietta all win Friday
Chapman 9, Kean 4 – Box Score
Chapman senior catcher Adam Kordich prides himself on being a leader. His leadership was on display Friday in Chapman’s 9-4 win against Kean in the opening round of the NCAA Division III Championships at Fox Cities Stadium.
Kordich guided junior pitcher Ben Levitt through 3 2/3 innings of work against the Cougars on a sunny afternoon in Appleton, Wis. Levitt was called into action after ace Brian Rauh, a DIII All-American, left the game with one out in the fourth inning because of an arm injury.
“Ben didn’t have his best stuff, but he battled the entire way,” Kordich said. “I had to go out and talk to him a couple of times but he was able to get the job done. My role on the team is to be a leader and I always try to pick guys up and help the team anyway I can.”
On Friday, Kordich helped the team by laying down a sacrifice bunt in the seventh inning that moved Tyler Hadzinsky over to second base. Hadzinsky eventually scored on a base hit by Charlie Piro that extended the Panthers’ lead to 6-3.
Kordich also picked off three runners as ninth-ranked Chapman (34-11) extended its win streak to six games.
“Adam has done a fantastic job for us all season,” Chapman head coach Tom Tereschuk said. “He is a quality player and person and his experience and consistency has been a big part of our success.”
Chapman trailed 3-2 entering the sixth inning but quickly erased the deficit. Tyler Surnbrock hit an RBI single to tie the game and Steve Greenburg ripped a two-run hit to center to push the lead to 5-3.
Levitt (2-1) did his part as well. He gave up two runs on six hits and struck out three.
Hadzinsky finished with three hits, knocked in two runs and scored twice while Mark Saatzer tallied two hits and drove in a run.
Chapman finished with nine hits, including five off of Kean starter Mike Russo (10-2). Russo allowed six runs on six hits in 6 2/3 innings of work. He struck out four and walked five.
Chris Carrano and Lee Cavico finished with two hits apiece. Cavico also knocked in two runs for the Cougars (42-10), who came into this tourney as the third-ranked team in the nation.
Marietta 8, Salisbury 0 – Box Score
Brian Gasser might have not been at his best Friday afternoon, but the national pitcher of the year did enough to lead No. 1 Marietta to an easy win against Salisbury.
Gasser allowed three hits, struck out four and walked three in six innings of work as the Etta Express (43-3) pushed their win streak to 19 games.
“I didn't think Brian (Gasser) had his best stuff, but we keep saying that now over his last three starts and he still keeps throwing up zeros,” Marietta head coach Brian Brewer said. “Mark (Williams) came in and I don't think he had his best stuff either but again he kept throwing up zeros and then Kyle (Lindquist) did an excellent job closing it on the back end for us."
The shutout was the 14th of the season for Marietta, which cranked out 11 hits, including two by Casey Levens. Levens also drove in three runs. Marietta limited the Sea Gulls (33-13) to five hits and scored all of its runs in the sixth, seventh and eighth innings.
Brian Green led the Sea Gulls with two hits.
Buena Vista 5, Wisconsin-Whitewater 4 – Box Score
Michael Hoffman hit an RBI single in the bottom of the ninth inning and propelled Buena Vista to its first win in Division III Baseball Championships.
The Beavers (33-16) set a new school record for wins in a season and finished the day with nine hits in this tightly contested opening round game.
Hoffman and Brad Blum finished with two hits apiece and Luke Probasco nailed down the win, giving up two runs on 10 hits in 7 2/3 innings of work. Probasco struck out three batters.
Jeff Donovan and Brent Young tallied three hits apiece on a day when the War Hawks (36-12) racked up 13 hits in all.
Donovan also got the start and went 6 1/3 innings. He allowed four runs on sixt hits and recorded three strikeouts.
Eric Schmitz ended up with the loss. He pitched 2 1/3 innings and gave up one run on one hit. The hit happened to be the game-winner by Hoffman.
Whitewater had rallied to tie the game in the top of the ninth, scoring on a ground ball and an RBI hit by Jared Fon.
In the end, it wasn’t enough for Whitewater, which came into the tourney seeking its first national title since 2005 but is now one loss away from elimination.
Keystone 2, Western New England 1 – Box Score
Keystone scored both of its runs in the sixth inning and held off Western New England in the final opening round game of the night.
The 25th-ranked Giants (36-10) rattled off their 17th consecutive win and prevailed despite managing only eight hits.
Esteban Meletiche tallied two hits and drove in one run while Roberto Santana came up with one hit and also had an RBI.
Jeff Frost went the distance. He gave up his only run of the night in the second inning and helped Keystone strand eight Western New England runners. The Golden Bears got two three this and RBI from Mike Taylor. Tony Trubia added two hits.
Matt Rogers took the loss despite a phenomenal effort. He went 7 2/3 innings and struck out 10 while issuing just one walk.