Whitewater defeated Western New England College 8-3 on Saturday at the NCAA III World Series at Fox Cities Stadium in Appleton, Wisc.
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UW-W, 37-12, will face the winner of Saturday’s later game between Chapman College and Marietta College at noon Sunday.
Senior Daniel Putnam, the team leader in on-base percentage, opened the bottom of the first inning with a walk. Senior Rob Coe hit a grounder through the left side to put runners on the corners, and senior Jeff Donovan rifled a triple to the bullpen in right center for a 2-0 lead. Donovan came home on a wild pitch to make it 3-0.
The first Golden Bear batter in the fourth, Tim Clark, was hit by a pitch. Ryan Dudzinski walked, and a fly to deep right moved Clark to third. Catcher Jason Leclerc brought both runners home with a double to cut Whitewater’s lead to 3-2.
The seniors were back at it again in the sixth. Coe walked, and Donovan hit his school record 22nd double of the season to plate Coe. Kevin Jeffries came on to replace starter Zach Cloft, and Warhawk third baseman Jared Fon greeted him with a double to score Donovan and build the Whitewater lead to 5-2.
It was Putnam again in the seventh, hitting a sharp single back up the box and taking second on a ball that got tangled in the catcher’s legs. Andrew Eichstaedt walked. Putnam then lit out for third and the catcher’s attempt to throw him out sailed into left field. Putnam scored and Eichstaedt moved to second. Coe knocked in Eichstaedt with a single. Coe moved to second on a ground out, and scored on Brent Young’s single to increase Whitewater’s lead to 8-2.
With two outs in the ninth, Tony Trubia was hit by a pitch, and Mike Rubio doubled to straight away center to cut the lead to 8-3 and Leclerc hit a ball to deep short that went for a hit, putting runners on the corners, but the rally ended there.
Donovan and Coe had two hits. Donovan’s were both extra base hits, and he drove in three and scored twice. Coe scored three times, and Putnam scored twice and was on base twice.
The senior Warnhawks won’t mind having to share the limelight with sophomore Justin Lambert. Lambert, who won the regional championship game one week ago, upped his record to 6-4 with seven innings of work. He gave up three hits, walked two and struck out three. Mathew Roberts, a freshman, worked a 1-2-3 eighth and junior Jack Larsen closed out the ninth.
Zach Kloft, 8-3 and the first of four Golden Bear pitchers, took the loss. Leclerc led WNEC batters with two hits and two runs batted in.
WNEC, making its first NCAA III World Series appearance, ends the season 42-11. The Golden Bears lost to Keystone College 2-1 Friday in the double elimination Series.