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Misericordia vs UW-Whitewater for the D3 NATTY!

The Division III College World Series at Classic Park in Eastlake has been at the center of national drama with Birmingham-Southern and their historic run as their school closed their doors for good. But the games have been outstanding. And in order to have our finalists, they each had to win two games on Monday!


Final DIII teams


Wisconsin-Whitewater Warhawks vs Misericordia Cougars


These two schools finally made the championship best of three series which saw their first game played Tuesday, which was originally scheduled as an off day. Wednesday’s weather forecast forced this move.


Misericordia gave a two run cushion to UWW in the top of the first, but scored the next 10 runs and held on to defeat Warhawks, 12-9. Back to back bases loaded walks helped the Cougars stake the 10-2 lead by the end of the fourth inning. On the day, they rapped out 16 hits without a homerun. Catcher Brock Bollinger and second sacker, Gabe Bunn, each accounted for three hits and four runs contributed.


Matt Lanzendorfer came in to finish the wild 5th inning and held UWW scoreless the rest of the way to notch the win.


Adam Cootway (DH) had three hits (including a double and a dinger) and accounted for 4 runs for UWW. Eli Frank (1B) also homered and doubled and also was responsible for four for the Warhawks. Starter Max Huseboe took the loss as he struggled for only 1 and ⅔ innings pitched and gave up four runs early after being staked to a 2-0 lead.

Tuesday’s move forced changes

By moving the game up a day, it forced both managers to start pitchers they weren’t hoping to. “You can argue that its the most important game of the year. . .[and we] are pitching guys who have not pitched in significant roles,” said Misericordi coach, Pete Egbert. The off day was designed so teams could have their #1’s battle first. Now, it’s flipped.


The series is a battle of styles. UW-Whitewater will out-slug you, while the Cougars will nickel and dime you with singles, sacrifice bunts, stolen bases, and taking advantage of errors. All that was on display Tuesday.


Thursday’s game will most likely feature UWW’s ace, Cade Berendt, and Misericordia’s Joe Valenti. The first pitch is scheduled for 11 am Thursday. And if Misericordia can somehow pull off their first ever national championship by winning, it will be due to their closer, senior Matt Lanzendorfer, who has already logged 10 and ⅔ innings of relief.

Photo from Misericordia’s Baseball roster page

But if Clevelanders want a team to root for, why not UWW? Head coach John Vodenlich was a catcher for Univerisity of Wisconsin-Whitewater and caught one of Cleveland’s most heralded closers, Bob Wickman, when they played together at the Dallas, PA school! If they can win two games, then they will notch their third national championship and first since 2014.


But I would expect two games tomorrow. Bet on UWW winning the first game. And the second? A total toss up! What’s definite is that a champion will be crowned in Eastlake, and the six days of the tournament will end. What a wild ride it’s been!


I am a math teacher in SW Ohio. Born and raised in NE Ohio, I am married with four sons who keep the flame burning for all things Cleveland. I cover soccer, betting, football and anything that focuses on the human side of sports.

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