|Joe Link was three-for-five with two runs scored
and two RBIs in theUMAC championship game.
St. Scholastica photo by Ryan Coleman, d3photography.com
The second day of the UMAC Postseason Tournament did not offer
as much drama as the previous day as the St. Scholastica Saints
baseball team walked away with its 15th straight UMAC Tournament
title, defeating Bethany Lutheran by a 26-2 final at Wade Stadium
on Friday afternoon.
Bethany Lutheran (27-9) was forced to use its best pitcher Justin Kohls to defeat Northwestern in the final play-in game by a 6-4 final earlier in the game allowing the Saints' (35-5) bats to come alive early and often, scoring at least one run off five Viking pitchers and three or more off of four.
Sixteen players had hits for CSS, 14 had at least one run batted in, and 15 scored at least one run., but it was freshman Andy Davis' six shutout innings, which included four strikeouts and just five hits allowed that gave the Saints a chance to pull away early.
The Saints, who batted in the top of the inning as the unofficial “road” team, had 10 runs on the board before the Vikings had their third set of at-bats and did not look back.
In the midst of it all, Joe Link stole his 41st base of the season in 41 attempts, setting a new Saints' single season record.
Link was one of many heroes on the day, going three-for-five with two runs scored and two RBIs. Kyle Flagstad continued his tear with two hits, two runs scored, and three runs batted in.
Scott Greening had the first CSS hit of the day and followed that up with two more including a triple to finish three-for-four with three RBIs and three runs scored.
Freshman Tyler Henderson pinch hit in the seventh and then played catcher for the final three innings, finishing two-for-three with three RBIs on the afternoon.
Brian Houdek, Dan Ubl, and Jake Nystrom pitched the final three innings for CSS, allowing just four hits and two runs combined.
While the Saints are officially in their seventh straight NCAA Tournament, they will have to wait until Monday morning to find out where and against whom they will play in next week's Regional round.