LA CROSSE, Wis. -- Ripon upset top-seeded UW-Whitewater 15-7 in an opening round game Wednesday at the NCAA Division III Baseball Midwest Regional at Copeland Park. Ripon improves to 24-14 on the season and will face Coe at 4:30 on Thursday. 

UW-Whitewater, the defending national champion, falls to 33-10. The Warhawks face Saint John's (Minn.) in an elimination game at 10 a.m. Thursday.

Ripon took the lead in the top of the first. A one-out single by Nick Kita was followed by a two-out double by Nick Schmitt. Nake Siudak reached on an error by UW-Whitewater scoring Kita to make it 1-0.

UW-Whitewater scored a pair of runs in the bottom of the second inning to take the lead. Daytona Byrdon walked to start the inning and stole second.  Adam Gregory's one-out single up the middle scored Brydon to tie the game with Gregory advancing to second on a throwing error. Nick Kuhlman hit a two-out single to left to knock in Gregory to give the Warhawks a 2-1 advantage.

Ripon came right back in the top of the third. Kita walked to open the frame and Michael Polcyn followed with a two-run home run to center to put the Red Hawks up 3-2.  Siudak singled with one out followed by a double by Mitchell Busch.  A Nick Uhen sacrifice fly scored Siudak for a 4-2 lead.  

Ripon added to the lead in the fifth. Schmitt and Siudak walked to start the frame. A throwing error by UW-Whitewater's pitcher on a sacrifice bunt by Busch allowed Schmitt to score making it 5-2. After a UW-Whitewater pitching change, Uhen's two-run single scored Siudak and Busch.

The Red Hawks tallied five runs in the top of the seventh to take a 12-2 lead. Dakotah Kirchenwitz doubled to score Bradley Knoblock to make it 8-2.  Polcyn was intentionally walked with two outs and first base open to load the bases for Schmitt, who hit a grand slam to left center for a 12-2 advantage.

Mike Mierow homered for UW-Whitewater in the bottom of the seventh to make the score 12-3, and the Warhawks added four runs on four hits in the eighth to pull within 12-7. Mikole Pierce drove in Kuhlmann with a single while Steve Chamberlain added a two-run single knocking in Trey Cannon and Casey Power.  After a Ripon pitching change, Mierow's single scored Power to cut the deficit to 12-7.

The Red Hawks finished the scoring in the top of the ninth on a three-run two-out double from Busch.

Patrick Van Daalwyk (4-1) picked up the victory for Ripon, pitching 7.0 innings, allowing seven hits, seven runs (six earned) and five walks while striking out two.  Ethan Bemowski and Jeff Schurrmans each pitched a scoreless inning for the Red Hawks. Schurrmans had three strikeouts in his inning of work.

Eight starters had at least one hit for Ripon, including five players (Polcyn, Schmitt, Siudak, Busch, Uhen) with two hits each. Schmitt had four RBI while Busch and Uhen each finished with three. Kita, Polcyn, and Schmitt each scored three runs.

Mike Nompleggi (5-1) took the loss for UW-Whitewater, pitching 3.2 innings, allowing five hits, four runs (three earned) and one walk with six strikeouts.  John Olejniczak gave up three runs (two earned) and two walks in one-third of an inning.  Curtis Morgan pitched the final 5.0 innings, allowing eight runs (five earned), eight hits and four walks while striking out two.

Cannon and Mierow each had two hits for the Warhawks while Chamberlain and Mierow each drove in two.