Webster advances to DIII World Series
Gorlocks get strong effort from Hafeli to win Rhodes Regional
MILLINGTON, Tenn. -- Webster defeated Birmingham-Southern 3-2 to win the Rhodes Regional at USA Stadium on Saturday afternoon. The Gorloks first Regional Championship gives them a berth in the NCAA Division III World Series, to be held on May 25-29 in Appleton, Wisconsin. Webster survived a nerve-racking ninth inning to preserve the win.
Webster swept through the regional, winning four consecutive games, knocking off No. 7 Birmingham-Southern twice and 22nd-ranked DePauw in the process. Webster improves to 35-12 on the season, tying the program's record for victories in a year which was set in 2010.
After walking the lead-off hitter in the ninth, Cody Hafeli gave way to David Mueller. Mueller allowed two singles to load the bases but got a force out at the plate and struck out the next batter looking. A Gorlok error allowed two runners to score but Mueller averted disaster, striking out the next Panther to end the game, earning his second save of the season.
Hafeli gave the Gorloks their fourth consecutive solid start in the regional, pitching eight innings. He allowed just six hits, one run, and walked one. Hafeli improved to 9-1 on the year, leading the team in wins.
Mitchell Bonds drove in Alex Kazmierski in the sixth inning for the Gorloks first run. Mike Rainbolt drove in two insurance runs in the eighth. Every batter in the Webster line-up had at least one hit. Kazmeirski wound up 2-for-4, with two runs scored and a stolen base on the afternoon.
Taylor Stoulp was named the Most Valuable Player of the Regional. Tom Henke, Matt Moore, Steve Dooley, Hafeli and Stoulp were named to the All-Regional team for Webster.
Webster becomes the first team from the St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference to win a regional and gain a berth in the NCAA Division III World Series.