Wisconsin-Whitewater cruised to its second NCAA Division III title by winning all four of its games by at least three runs (and three of them by at least six) while going undefeated in the postseason. The clincher came in a 7-0 rout of Emory in Appleton, Wis.
The victory gave Whitewater a sweep of D-III titles, as it also won football and men’s basketball championships this year.
Emory, which lost its opening round game 5-4 to Baldwin-Wallace but fought off elimination by winning four in a row to reach the finals, was no match for the Warhawks, winners of their last 11 games of the season.
Backing up a seven-hit shutout by junior righthander Scott Plaza—who was named the tournament’s Most Outstanding Player—Whitewater put up runs in the second, third, fourth, and seventh innings.
“There is no way they were taking me out of that game,” Plaza, who posted a 3-0, 1.23 postseason record, told NCAA.com. “(I) tried to make them hit my stuff. I knew I had (defense) behind me and if I did my job, they’re going to do their job.”
Plaza started two of the Warhawks’ four games at the finals, posting a perfect ERA through 16 innings of work. He struck out 14. Plaza struck out 106 batters while walking only 19 this season.
Emory came into the game hitting .355 on the year and scoring more than nine runs per game, but that was all put to an end by Plaza’s dominant performance.
Southern Indiana Wins D-II
Southern Indiana bookended its stay at USA Baseball’s National Training Complex in Cary, N.C. with a pair of one-run victories. The first was a 4-3 win over Tampa, the nation’s top team, to open the NCAA Division II tournament. The last was a 3-2, 12-inning battle with Colorado Mesa resulting in USI’s second national title in school history (2010).
Southern Indiana entered the championship round with a 4-0 record, needing to topple the once-beaten Mavericks just once to capture the title. With the game tied at two in the top of the 12th, Matt Bowles, 1-for-5 on the day, drew a bases loaded, one-out walk to put the Screaming Eagles ahead for good.
Junior Matt Chavarria, who was named the tournament’s Most Outstanding Player and shares his time between the pitching rubber and shortstop, threw his fourth scoreless inning of the night in the bottom of the 12th, stranding Garrett Woodward, Colorado Mesa’s final hope, at third base. Chavarria went 1-0 with two saves in the finals without giving up an earned run and struck out four while working the final four innings.
“What a great game,” USI head coach Tracy Archuleta told NCAA.com. “I think everyone enjoyed it. I’m so proud of each and every one of our guys.”
Archuleta’s squad defeated the top four teams in the country en route to the national title. Outfielder Kyle Kempf batted .379 in the postseason, hitting one home run, three doubles and scoring six runs.
Around The Nation
• Cumberland (Tenn.) became the first No. 10 seed to win the 10-team NAIA tournament since its current format was adopted in 2003. Cumberland (Tenn.) won five of six games in Lewiston, Idaho, including a 3-0 win in the championship over host Lewis-Clark State. It’s Cumberland’s third title.
• For the third time in the past five years, Iowa Western CC is the top team in NJCAA Division I. The Reivers led Miami-Dade by a run before scoring five in the seventh and six in the ninth en route to a 17-5 win. Iowa Western outfielder Alex Krupa was named tournament MVP after going 4-for-5.
• Jordan Zimmerman’s 14 RBIs during the NCJCAA D-II World Series set a new tournament record, but it was what he did with the bases empty that propelled Mesa (Ariz.) CC to a 9-7 win over Hinds (Miss.) CC. Leading off the top of the 11th in a ballgame tied at six, Zimmerman tripled, beginning a three-run rally. It was one of three hits in the game for the tournament MVP. Hinds got a run back in the bottom of the 11th and loaded the bases with two outs, but reliever Joseph Carvalho worked his way out of the jam.
• In its final year as host of the NJCAA D-III national championship, Tyler College made sure to keep the hardware at home, beating Cumberland County CC 6-3. Anthony Soriano, who had two hits and one RBI in the final, went 7-for-15 over the week and was named tournament MVP. The tournament will be held in Kinston, N.C., for three years starting in 2015.