WHITEWATER, Wis. -- UW-Whitewater staged a late inning comeback to defeat Adrian College, 5-4, on Saturday at the NCAA Division III Midwest Regional to advance to the championship finals. The Warhawks, 40-7, will be making their sixth appearance in the championship finals in program history. Adrian finished the season 33-5 with both losses in the regional coming at the hands of UW-Whitewater.
The Warhaws got off to a good start after scoring two in the bottom of the first after a walk and three consecutive singles. Adrian's Mitch Stefanski led a comeback. He belted a solo homer in the second, another in the fourth and an RBI double in the sixth. Add that to a solo homer by Sam Fischer to lead off the fourth and the Bulldogs had a 4-2 lead in the sixth.
The Warhawks then began to chip. With one out in the sixth Mikole Pierce singled through the left side. He stole second and was awarded third after the umpire called interference on the Bulldogs second baseman. A groundout by Michael Gonzalez pushed Pierce across and the Bulldogs lead shrunk to 4-3.
Adam Gregory tied things up in the seventh on a single to right field that plated Trey Cannon, and UW-W completed the comeback by taking a 5-4 lead in the bottom of the eighth on a sacrifice fly by Gonzalez.
Warhawk lefty Colin Grove entered the game and shutdown the Bulldogs. He registered five strikeouts while allowing just two hits over 3.2 innings to earn the victory and improve to 4-0 this season. Grove made three appearances in the regional totaling 6.2 innings pitched and did not allow a single run. For his efforts he was named to the regional's all-tournament team.
Pierce, named the Most Outstanding Player, was 2-for-3 in the game and scored two runs. Gonzalez accounted for two RBI and one run on a 1-for-3 performance and Trey Cannon went 2-for-3 with a run and an RBI. Cannon's .462 average, five runs and three RBI in the regional earned him a spot on the all-tournament team.
Dylan Friend and Brock Liston were also named to the all-tournament team. Friend hit .417 in four games with three RBI, two stolen bases and five walks. Liston earned UW-W's first victory in the tournament throwing 7.0 innings, scattering five hits, two runs and seven strikeouts.
This is the fourth time in the last 11 years that UW-W has reached the 40-win mark. Three of the four times the Warhawks advanced to the championship finals.