North Central captures second-straight CCIW tournament title

More news about: North Central (Ill.)

May 12, 2018 – Dominating all weekend long, the North Central College baseball team captured its second-straight College Conference of Illinois & Wisconsin (CCIW) Tournament Championship and the ninth in program history, while earning the conference's automatic bid to the 2018 NCAA Division III Regional Championships, making the third-consecutive trip to the regional.

Nobody could find a solution to shutting down the Cardinal offense during the tournament, as all nine batters in the lineup recorded a hit in each of the three games, racking up 55 total hits and 40 runs including two shortened seven-inning contests.

The scoring started early once again for the Cardinal offense, as John Carmody and Colin Weilbachereach singled to begin the top of the second, as the Cardinals were playing as the visiting team.  Rob Marinec followed with another single, sending Carmody home to score, before Ryan Scott loaded the bases with the fourth single of the frame.  Jeremy Quade then drew a bases loaded walk to score Weilbacher while giving North Central the early 2-0 lead.

In the top of the third, Mike Wisz singled to left while Weilbacher doubled to left center two batters later, before a RBI-groundout from Marinec increased the lead 3-0.

North Park (20-23) drew to within one with a pair of runs in the bottom of the third, but Cardinal starter Charlie Klemm induced a huge 4-6-3 double play to strand the tying run on third to end the inning.

Klemm settled in nicely from that point forward, shutting down the Viking lineup over his next three innings, while the offense exploded for four runs in the top of the fourth.  Matt Sutherland led off with a double down the left field line and came around to score on a RBI-single off the bat of Quade a few pitches later.

Eric Outlaw got in on the hit parade with a base knock to left field, before Michael Mateja doubled home Quade.  Still with nobody out in the inning and following a Viking pitching change, Wisz lined the first pitch he saw to left field for a double, sending home Outlaw and Mateja in the process while increasing the Cardinal lead 7-2.

The offense continued to torcher North Park pitching, plating five more runs in the top of the sixth as Weilbacher and Marinec each recorded RBI-singles, before Scott launched his second homerun of the tournament, a three-run shot to left to put the game out of reach.

North Central (28-12) added another run in the top of the seventh while Nick Rogalski shut the door in the bottom of the seventh, closing out the victory for Klemm who improves to 6-1 on the season, going six innings, striking out three and walking none.

All nine batters in the Cardinal lineup reached base on multiple occasions, racking up 20 hits, led by a 4-for-5 performance with two RBI and two runs scored from Weilbacher.  Wisz finished 3-for-5 with three runs scored and two RBI, bringing his season total to 72 which currently leads the nation and falls just two shy of the program record.

Carmody finished 3-for-4 with a walk and two runs scored, while Mateja was 2-for-3 with a walk, hit by pitch, RBI and run scored.  Scott was 2-for-4 from the plate with three RBI, while Outlaw and Marinec each added two hits and Quade also drove in a pair.
The defending NCAA Division III Central Region Champions will await the date and location of next week's regional championship, released by the NCAA early Monday, May 14 at