May 17, 2013
Vikings advance to final day of regional play
|Freshman right-hander Walter White allowed just one hit and one walk in five scoreless innings of relief Friday as Augustana defeated Wartburg 9-3 to advance to the final day of NCAA regional play.|
MOLINE, Ill.- Behind five one-hit, shutout innings from freshman reliever Walter White (East Peoria HS, East Peoria, Ill.), Augustana defeated Wartburg 9-3 Friday to advance to the final day of play at the NCAA regional at Swanson Stadium/Brunner Field. The third-seeded Vikings (34-10) take on Concordia at noon on Saturday for the right to face Webster for the regional title at 3:30 p.m. Second-seeded Wartburg ends its season at 35-11.
White, who hadn't pitched in nearly three weeks, came on with the bases loaded and no one out in the top of the fifth and Augustana on top 6-1. He retired the first two batters he faced, but both came on sacrifice flies as the Knights cut the deficit to 6-3. White walked Levi Montague, but got Blake Wilson on a comebacker to end the inning.
Just one more Wartburg runner would reach the rest of the way against White. Drew Yoder had a two-out single in the seventh, but White retired the final seven Knight batters of the game to get the win and improve to 4-3 this year. He fanned three and gave up just the one hit and one walk.
Augustana gave starter Ben Heaton (Bloomington Central Catholic HS, Heyworth, Ill.) a lead with four runs in the top of the third. Brandon Jasper (Central DeWitt HS, DeWitt, Ill.) led off the inning with a single to left, but a failed sacrifice attempt and fly out later, Kyle Lenihan (Romeoville HS, Romeoville, Ill.) was on first with two outs. Jacob Van Duyne (Wilmington HS, Wilmington, Ill.) moved Lenihan to third with a single to right center. Danny Fifer (Lincoln-Way West HS, New Lenox, Ill.) and Kurt Schmidt (Grayslake Central HS, Grayslake, Ill.) followed with RBI singles and Grant Stewart (Sterling HS, Sterling, Ill.) drove in two with a single to left.
Wartburg cut it to 4-1 with an unearned run in the bottom of the third, but the Vikings came back with a run in each of the fourth and fifth innings. Jasper led off the fourth with a double and after Lenihan sacrificed him to third, he scored on Jeremy Juhl's (Glenbard East HS, Lombard, Ill.) single through the drawn-in Knight infield. In the fifth, Augustana had Schmidt on third with two outs when Nick Tenerelli (Downers Grove South HS, Downers Grove, Ill.) was hit in the face with a pitch and had to leave the game. Jim Sandberg (Mullen HS, Littleton, Colo.) pinch ran for Tenerelli and took off for second, staying in a rundown long enough for Schmidt to cross the plate with the Vikings' sixth run.
Heaton ran into trouble in the bottom of the fifth, allowing a single and issuing two walks, prompting Coach Greg Wallace to summon White from the Viking pen.
Sandberg's bases-loaded, two-run single in the seventh put Augustana up 8-3 and Stewart doubled in a run in the ninth to account for the final.
Several Vikings had big offensive days. Fifer was 4-for-5 with three runs scored and an RBI. Stewart was 3-for-5 with three driven in and Schmidt was 2-for-5, scoring three runs and driving in one. Jasper had a pair of hits and a run scored as well.