|Drew Bailey puts the ball in the air, to the tune of four homers and 38 RBI for Carthage.
Photo by David Malamut, d3photography.com
Follow this regional
May 13: All times Eastern
at UW-Stevens Point 7, Greenville 4Video | Box Score | Recap | Recap | Photos
May 14: All times Eastern
Carthage 10, at Greenville 2Video | Box Score | Recap | Recap | Photos
By Colton Westfall
Four words could define the Central Regional: offense, offense, and more offense. On paper, that is what we can expect. We are looking at a slugfest to decide the Central champion. Five of the six teams are batting .309 or higher coming into the regional, with underdog Greenville the lone team below that level. Meanwhile, UW-Stevens Point, Webster, and Wartburg each rank in the top seven nationally in home runs.
Still, the old saying goes that pitching and defense wins championships. While a late-inning double or a clutch home run could provide the regional winner, it will likely be a standout performance on the mound. And, while there are many good pitchers in the regional, no team’s staff really stands out. CCIW champion Carthage allowed just two runs in each of their three conference tournament wins, but they are still susceptible to giving up runs in large numbers – much like Anderson and the rest of the teams in this region. This leaves the Central as one of the most open regionals this season.
Waterloo Regional schedule
All times Central
Wednesday, May 13
Game 1 - No. 1 UW-Stevens Point (31-12) vs. No. 6 Greenville (22-19), 12 p.m.
Game 2 - No. 2 Webster (30-13) vs. No. 5 Carthage (28-13), 3:30 p.m.
Game 3 - No. 3 Wartburg (32-12) vs. No. 4 Anderson (31-11), 7 p.m.
Meet the teams in the Central Regional
Friday, May 15
Game 4 – Greenville vs. Carthage, 12 p.m.
Game 5 – Wartburg vs. UW-Stevens Point, 4:30 pm.
Game 6 – Webster vs. Anderson, 8 pm.
Saturday, May 16
Game 7 - UW-Stevens Point vs. Anderson, 12 p.m.
Game 8 - Carthage vs. Wartburg, 3:30 p.m.
Game 9 - Webster vs. UW-Stevens Point, 7 p.m.
Sunday, May 17
Game 10 - Carthage vs. Webster, 12 p.m.
Game 11 - Carthage vs. Webster, 3:30 p.m. (if necessary)
UW-Stevens Point. The Pointers are getting hot at the right time. All they’ve done is win 12 of out their last 13 in, arguably, the toughest conference in the country. They are led by a strong core of seniors that just missed out on the D-III World Series last year, and they have an overpowering offense (.327 batting average, 41 home runs) that will keep them in any game. Effective pitching, led by Mitch Beau, is battle tested after winning the WIAC tournament and the Pointers are ready to make a run at the regional championship.
Most likely to disappoint
Wartburg. While the rest of the region seems to be heating up, Wartburg’s bats have gone a bit cold of late. The Knights have lost three of their last five games, and their average pitching staff was hit hard in their conference tournament. Now they will face some of the top offenses in the country.
Anderson. The HCAC champions haven’t garnered much national attention, but that wouldn't stop them from making some noise in the regional. Anderson has won 11 consecutive games and the Ravens have scored at least six runs in every one of those games. They have shown that they can score on anyone, and they have a great chance to make a deep run into the regional.
Players to Watch
C Cole Heberling, Anderson (.364 BA, 3 HR, 13 2B, 36 R, 38 RBI)
1B Kyle Uhrich, Webster (.351 BA, 16 HR, 58 RBI)
2B Ray Greco, UW-Stevens Point (.343 BA, 13 XBH, 31 RBI, 9 SB)
SS Dalton McFarland, Greenville (.377 ERA, 12 XBH, 24 RBI)
3B Jeff Kramer, Webster (.394 BA, 17 2B, 9 HR, 42 RBI, 9 SB)
OF Cody Hanke, UW-Stevens Point (.373 BA, 12 HR, 12 2B, 55 RBI, 14 SB)
OF Jake Craft, Anderson (.361 BA, 16 2B, 7 HR, 47 R, 48 RBI)
OF Ryan Kemp, Wartburg (.368 BA, 8 HR, 14 2B, 43 R, 47 RBI)
SP Mitch Beau, UW-Stevens Point (7-2, 2.35 ERA, 80.1 IP, 54 K)
SP Taylor Gilson, Wartburg (7-1, 2.01 ERA, 58.1 IP, 53 K)
SP Josh Fleming, Webster (7-2, 2.11 ERA, 72.2 IP, 79 K)
RP Dylan Dean Smith, Webster (6-3, .77 ERA, 17 APP, 35 IP, 28 K)
Utl Jared Helmich, Carthage (.370 BA, 6 HR, 32 RBI; 4-1, 2.50 ERA, 54 IP, 50 K)