APPLETON, Wis. - The dream for an NCAA DIII National
Championship ended for the Webster University baseball team, as the
Gorloks fell to the University of Southern Maine,
7-2, at Fox Cities Stadium in Appleton, Wis., on May 26. Webster finishes 1-2 and in 5th place for a second straight year in the World Series.
Webster saw an end to another outstanding season that saw the Gorloks win a second straight NCAA DIII Regional title, their 8th NCAA regional appearance in last nine years, and make a second World Series appearance. The Gorloks also won a 7th straight SLIAC regular season title, and a 4th straight SLIAC championship, while winning a program record 37 games.
The Gorloks dodged bullets in the first two innings as Southern Maine had runners reach in both, only to have a runner in the first doubled up, and a runner in the second picked off by Webster starter Cody Hafeli. The Huskies, no strangers to winning with a 44-9 season record, broke through with two in the third after a one-out double, and a two-out double and single, to make it 2-0.
Webster tied it up in the bottom of the fifth when Ian Foege and Ryan Hall singled to
start the inning. Both scored on a wild throw by the Huskie pitcher on a Cody Stevenson sacrifice bunt attempt. Stevenson was cut down at second trying to take the extra base.
A three-run sixth was the deciding factor for Southern Maine. After allowing a leadoff home run, followed by a double and two walks, Hafeli was relieved by Ryan Martinez. Martinez coaxed a sac fly for the Huskies second run, but a single brought in a third. Jason Gray came in and promptly picked off the runner at second to end the threat.
Southern Maine added single runs in the eighth and ninth before Webster mounted one last rally in the ninth. With one out, Mitchell Bonds was hit by a pitch, Foege singled into left, and Hall singled to left to load the bases. But the Huskies retired the last two Gorloks, ending the threat and the game.
Hafeli wound up 7-3 on the season, allowing seven hits, three walks, and five runs in five and a third innings of work. Hafeli winds up his career at Webster with 16-4 record. Foege was three for four with a run scored, and Hall was two for four with a run. Mike Rainbolt finished the game two for four.
Unlike the 2012 Series, the Gorlok bats never got quite untracked. Webster wound up hitting .260 for the Series as opposed to a .305 clip by its opponents.
Seniors Colin Bates, Bonds, Steven Dooley, Hafeli, Alex Kazmierski, Martinez, Rainbolt, and Stevenson, all a big part in the team’s recent success, played their last game for the Gorloks.
With the loss, Webster is now 17-17 in NCAA post-season play, 15-13 in Regional play, and 2-4 in World Series play.
Courtesy Webster University sports information