Swarthmore gets first World Series win

More news about: Swarthmore | Wooster

By Jim Dixon

GRAND CHUTE, Wis. -- Sawyer Lake was dominant on the mound and the Swarthmore offense pummeled the Wooster pitching as the Garnet defeated the Scots 10-5 in their first win in the 2018 NCAA D-III College World Series at neuroscience group field at Fox Cities Stadium.

Lake put a damper on the top ranked offense in D-III baseball. Lake helped himself in picking off three runners on first base and tagging out a runner at home plate in a pivotal fifth inning.

Sawyer Lake reaches back to tag a sliding Jake Fling to keep the Scots from tying the score.
Photo by Steve Frommell, d3photography.com
Jackson Roberts was a triple shy of the cycle as he was 4-for-5 for Swarthmore.
photo by Steve Frommell, d3photography.com

"Sawyer has electric stuff," said Swarthmore head coach Matt Midkiff. "When he is on, there are not too many better in the country."

"To his credit, he kept his composure and competed real hard," said Wooster head coach Tim Pettorini. "He dropped that breaking ball in there enough to keep you honest. His control was pretty good and he did a good job."

For Wooster it was deja vu in the first and second innings as Swarthmore duplicated the run totals seen in Friday night's Texas Lutheran loss.

AJ Liu opened the Swarthmore first with a walk and after a Cole Beeker single, Jackson Roberts' double to right center brought in the first runs of the game. Roberts scored later when Conor Gillen had the Garnet's second double of the inning.

The Garnet added a manufactured run that converted a one out walk to a run with a sacrifice fly ball to centerfield.

Wooster was gifted one run back. With two outs in the inning, the Garnet second baseman misjudged a pop-up and as the ball fell to the ground, and Chandler Dippman walked home.

The Scots and Garnet traded run scoring innings in the pivotal fifth.

Wooster had two runners on base with one out when Jake Fling triple of the outstretched glove of the centerfielder. Fling, who represented the tying run attempted to score when Lake threw a pitch in the dirt. As the runner slid in to the plate, Lake took Kenji Yoshii's relay and tagged him as he slid into the plate.

"I was happy he would go," said Lake. "I knew the ball was not that far from the plate so I ran home and Kenji threw it to my backside and he slid right into the tag."

"One thing about Sawyer, he's probably if he's not our best athlete, he's one of our best athletes on the team," Midkiff said. "He fields his position as well as anybody and you saw an example of that today."

With two outs, Swarthmore put together four hits to respond to Wooster's pair of runs with three of their own. The big hit in the strng was Gillen's double to right center.

"This really hurt," said Pettorini. "We got the first outs but their kids produced at home plate and we could no produce on the mound."

Swarthmore added three more to take a 10-3 lead with a Roberts two-run home run in the seventh and his RBI single in the eighth.

Wooster made a comeback bid in the ninth with hits sandwiching a Drew Tornow home run but Lake struck out the final two batters to complete the game.

"I thought we showed why we are here today," said Midkiff. "We kept our approach that we had all season."

Swarthmore will play the loser of Concordia-Chicago and Texas Lutheran on Sunday. Wooster ends its season with a 40-10 record.