The DII Baseball Championship is in the books. Eight days come to an end with Augustana defeating Columbus State 3-2 for the national championship from the USA Baseball National Training Complex in Cary, North Carolina.
It was all you could ask for in a championship game, starting with the pitching matchup. Senior lefty Perez Knowles, already a winner once in Cary, took the bump for Columbus State against the 2017 DII Pitcher of the Year Jacob Blank, one of the filthiest pitchers in DII the last two years.
Blank did his job, going perfect through four innings until the Vikings' offense broke through in the top half of the fourth in true Augustana style. The Vikings used their patented small ball to get four singles, including a squeeze bunt to capitalize on a Columbus State error and score two runs for the first lead in the ball game.
But the Cougars came powering back in the bottom half of the fifth with a two-run blast off the bat of freshman catcher Robert Brooks. That was all the Cougars could muster. The Vikings manufactured a run in the fifth and Blank took care of the rest. He shut down the Cougars' lineup after the fifth, going the distance and striking out twelve, including all three batters in the ninth, for the Vikings 3-2 victory.
Eight days in Cary come to an end in thrilling one-run fashion. Columbus State played some of the best baseball here, winning big in its victories, and losing a pair of tightly-contested, 3-2 battles. In the end, Augustana rolled to its first-ever national championship with a perfect 4-0 record on the week.
Saturday, June 2 championship game final: No. 5 Augustana 3, No. 2 Columbus State 2
The DII Baseball Championship concludes the DII season. The Augustana Vikings are your final national champion of 2018, winners of the DII baseball title. Be sure to relive all the highlights in the blog below