North Central Clinches CCIW Record Fifth-Straight Title

More news about: North Central (Ill.)

CAROL STREAM, Ill. (May 3, 2019) – The North Central College baseball team etched their name in history on Friday with a 9-2 win over Wheaton College, becoming just the second team in College Conference of Illinois & Wisconsin (CCIW) history to win five-straight regular season championships while also clinching the right to host the CCIW Tournament next week.
Head coach Ed Mathey has led the Cardinals to five-straight regular season titles in his first five years back at the helm of the program, as North Central joins Illinois Wesleyan University (1956-60) as the only two teams in CCIW history to win five straight championships since the initial champion was crowned in 1947.
A six-run top of the third catapulted the Cardinals to victory, beating up 2017 CCIW Pitcher of the Year Michael McCraith for six hits to bat around in the frame.  Jared Wojcik led off with a walk and proceeded to steal second before taking third on a Matt Sutherland single to right.
Jeremy Quade opened the scoring with a two-RBI double down the left field line, scoring Wojcik and Sutherland, while Rob Marinec plated Quade with a base-hit through the left side.  John Carmody got in on the action with a single to right, scoring Marinec, while Colin Weilbacher made it five-straight hits with a double to left. 
A sacrifice fly off the bat of Joe Rizzo increased the Cardinal lead 5-0, ahead of Justin Rios' RBI-double to left field, scoring Weilbacher and capping the scoring in the third.
Adding insult to injury, North Central pushed across three more on McCraith in the top of the fourth, all with two outs, as Sutherland and Quade led off the inning with singles.  Following a pair of flyouts, Weilbacher drove in the pair with a single through the left side. After advancing to second on the throw home in an attempt to nab Quade, Weilbacher sprinted home on a base-hit off the bat of Rizzo to extend the lead 9-0.
Wheaton (23-13, 13-9 CCIW) added a run in each of the fifth and eighth, but the Cardinal lead was far too much to overcome at that point, earning Austin Polezoes his fifth win of the season, allowing the two runs over 7 1/3 innings with five strikeouts.
Quade reached base in all five of his plate appearances, going 2-for-2 with two walks, a hit by pitch, two runs scored, two RBI and a stolen base.  Sutherland finished 2-for-5 with a walk and two runs scored, while Weilbacher added a pair of hits, runs scored and RBI.
North Central (26-9, 16-4 CCIW) still has four games to play in the conference regular season schedule, but have clinched the right to host next week's CCIW Tournament for the fourth time in the last five years. The Cardinals wrap up the series with Wheaton on Saturday, May 4 with first pitch of game one at 12 p.m. at Zimmerman Stadium.