Linfield crushes Southern Maine

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Ryan Browner was one of a parade of ten pitchers that saw action for Southern Maine on Saturdday photo by Larry Radloff
More photos from this game

By Ryan Smith

GRAND CHUTE, Wis. -- Southern Maine trotted out a NCAA Division III College World Series record 10 pitchers in a game, while Linfield needed just one as the Wildcats ran away with a 10-1 victory.

Aaron Thomassen tossed a complete game for the Wildcats, giving up one run on six hits while striking out nine Huskies.

[Thomassen] was exactly what we needed today,” Linfield head coach Scott Brosius said. “We needed him to go deep in the game and have that type of start. He has been good all year but he saved his best for last.” 

The Linfield lineup exploded in the top half of the first inning. All-American second baseman Tim Wilson led the charge with a leadoff single. A Corey VanDomelen walk set up Nick Fisher with two on and nobody out. Fisher cranked a single to score Wilson and put the Wildcats up 1-0.

A Kramer Lindell single allowed a second Linfield run to score before Jordan Harlow poked a double that sent two more Wildcats home as Linfield took a 4-0 lead.

Kyle Chamberlain got the last RBI of the inning on a blooper to right.

The Huskies pulled starter Logan Carman after giving up five runs in just 0.2 innings. Andrew Richards, who pitched five innings and earned a win on Friday, came on in relief.

The early lead was crucial for Thomassen as he was able to relax and attack the strike zone.

“I am always very comfortable when it comes to pitching with a lead,” Thomassen said.  “It makes my job a lot easier. I just throw strikes.”

NCAA D-III World Series records set

Most pitchers used in a game by a team: 10 (Southern Maine)

NCAA D-III World Series records set

Most pitchers used in a game for both teams: 11 (Southern Mainevs. Linfield)

Most pitchers used for a team in an 8-game series: 11 (Southern Maine)

Carman was Southern Maine’s ace all season, going 12-0 with a 1.62 ERA. The junior, who was hit in the forearm in the Huskies' regional win, had been day to day heading into the world series and did not have his best stuff Saturday.

“I just felt like I wasn’t able to locate today,” Carman said. “I had a little problem with grip and stuff like that. Every mistake I made, they hit well.”

Southern Maine used two more pitchers in the third inning. Sean Murphy managed only one out before he was pulled in favor of left-hander Luke Hammond.

A Clayton Truex double drove in Lindell and added another run to the scoreboard for the Wildcats in the third.

In the top of the fourth, Hammond loaded the bases before being pulled for Ryan Browner with none away. Browner traded a run for a pair of outs when Fisher hit into a double play but gave Linfield a 7-0 lead.

The next batter, All-American Jake Wylie, smashed a two-run homer into left and gave Linfield a 9-0 edge.

The Huskies finally broke into the score column when center fielder Forrest Chadwick hit a solo shot in the bottom of the fourth but the Wildcats still led 9-1.

Left-hander Dan Kinnon, Southern Maine’s sixth pitcher of the game, came in with one away in the top of the fifth and retired a pair of Wildcat lefties.

Kinnon retired the Wildcats in order in the sixth before coming out in favor of Dylan Morris. Morris was the seventh pitcher used by the Huskies, tying the NCAA D-III record for the championship.

Southern Maine broke the record in the eighth inning with its eighth pitcher of the game when Nathan Veilleux took the mound.

In the ninth, Forrest Chadwick and Troy Thibodeau came in for the Huskies making it 10 pitchers to take the mound for Southern Maine. These 10 combined with Thomassen tied the combined record for pitchers in a world series game with 11.

The Wildcats’ game plan did not change despite seeing so many pitchers.

“They gave us a bunch of different looks today,” Brosius said. “Once their starter came out it was pretty much a different guy each inning. You just try to identify as quick as you can and keep it as simple as you can. Tell the hitters to attack strikes and try to keep their thought processes simple.” 

Linfield added the final run of the game with a Michael Hopp RBI in the top of the ninth.

Linfield’s bats continued to be hot with their 10-run performance on Saturday. The Wildcats scored eight runs in Friday’s win against Ithaca.

The top of the Linfield order has scored in the first inning of both games in the championship, including five runs on Saturday. Wilson, the leadoff man, said the Wildcats are effective at feeling out pitchers early and taking advantage of good pitches to hit.

“We did a really good job today, early on especially, eliminating pitches from [Carman] and realizing what pitches he is throwing for strikes and attacking those pitches early in the count.” Wilson said.

Southern Maine goes to the loser’s bracket where they will face the Webster Gorloks at noon on Sunday.

Linfield improves to 40-7 on the season and advances to play the winner of Saturday’s contest between UW-Stevens Point and Kean.

Linfield news conference

Southern Maine news conference