The Westminster College baseball team was shorted by the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament Central Regionals, 11-4. The Blue Jays move to 28-14 on the season.
The loss pushes the Blue Jays to the first elimination game of the tournament held on Thursday, May 19, at 12:00 pm. They will play the loser of the second game of the tournament's opening day, Rose-Hulman or Wartburg.
The Blue Jays plated a run first with a senior Nolan Bax RBI single to right field in the second inning, scoring sophomore Blake Strebler, but the Wisconsin-Whitewater Warhawks evened the score in the third inning with a solo home run over left field.
The Warhawks picked up four runs in the bottom of the fifth inning with three RBI singles and one off a sacrifice fly in the sixth to take a 6-1 advantage over Westminster.
In the top of the seventh, the Blue Jay offense loaded the bases for junior Nick Cessna to come up. Cessna placed a two run single to score Bax and sophomore Adam Mundle, and sophomore Nick Bohlmann brought home senior Tyler Branneky with a RBI single to short stop. The Warhawk defense retired the inning, but the Blue Jays cut the score to 6-4.
The Blue Jays walked in a Warhawk run in the seventh, but the Blue Jay defense closed out the inning with a double play.
In the top of the eighth, the Warhawks scored four runs on three hits to take an 11-4 lead. Westminster's Ty. Branneky hit a single in the top of the ninth with two outs, but the Warhawks closed out the inning with a fly out to end the game.
The Blue Jays were out-hit by the Warhawks, 15-8. Cessna and Bohlmann each produced two hits. Cessna brought home two runs while Bohlmann and Bax posted one RBI.
Senior Collin Brinker (9-3) pitched seven innings on the mound and struck out three. Seven runs scored while pitching, but just three were earned.