The Carthage College baseball team (19-21, 11-10 College Conference of Illinois & Wisconsin) opened play at the CCIW Baseball Tournament on Thursday, May 12 with a 3-0 loss to top-seeded Augustana College (Ill., 28-12, 15-6 CCIW) at Swanson Stadium/Brunner Field in Moline, Ill. The Red Men are the fourth-seeded team in the tournament. In Thursday's first game, second-seeded and No. 13 North Central College (30-8, 15-6) trounced third-seeded Illinois Wesleyan University (22-18, 13-8), 13-5.
The tournament continues on Friday, May 13 with games at 11 a.m., 2:30 p.m. and 6 p.m. and concludes on Saturday, May 14 with the championship round beginning at Noon. The winner of the event receives the league's automatic qualifier to the NCAA Division III Baseball Championship. Regional-championship play gets underway on Wednesday, May 18. Carthage will take on Illinois Wesleyan at 11 a.m. on Friday, with North Central (Ill.) playing Augustana (Ill.) at 2:30 p.m.
Augustana starting pitcher Walter White (8-1) had the Red Men's number on Thursday. White blanked Carthage on four hits, four walks and eight strikeouts over eight innings. Carthage only had runners on second base twice, once in the sixth inning and again in the eighth. Kyle McGinley pitched the ninth inning to earn his third save. Chris DeRue (3-2) took the loss and surrendered three runs on 12 hits over seven innings, with Tucker Maris working the eighth inning.
Augustana took a 2-0- lead in the first inning on a two-run home by John Swiderski. An RBI-double by Mitchel Rue in the third upped the Vikings' lead to 3-0 to close out the scoring. The margin could have been worse, as Augustana had multiple scoring opportunities and stranded 11 runners.
"Walter White pitched great," said Carthage coach Augie Schmidt IV, "and he's probably the top pitcher in the league. He came at us and stuck us. We're a good-hitting team, but he hammered us good. You just have to tip your hat to him. He kept us off balance and kept the ball away from us. We didn't lose this game—he beat us. Our team hasn't done anything easy the whole year, so why would this tournament be any different. We got all kinds of pitching left. All we have to do is win four in a row.