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After Game 1 loss, UW-Whitewater needs to sweep Misericordia to win DIII baseball title

UW-Whitewater's Matt Scolan (15) slides toward Misericordia catcher Brock Bollinger during the DIII College World Series at Classic Park in Eastlake, Ohio, on Tuesday.
UW-Whitewater's Matt Scolan (15) slides toward Misericordia catcher Brock Bollinger during the DIII College World Series at Classic Park in Eastlake, Ohio, on Tuesday.

Can UW-Whitewater win its third NCAA Division III baseball title?

In order to accomplish that feat, John Vodenlich’s team will have to use a familiar formula, a doubleheader sweep.

After Misericordia handed Whitewater a 12-9 loss in Game 1 of the best-of-three championship series Tuesday night in Ohio, the series is set to resume at 10 a.m. (Central) on Thursday.

Whitewater (44-11) must win that game and Game 3, set for 45 minutes after the conclusion of Game 2, to win its third national title.

Misericordia (43-10), needs to win just once.

Whitewater dropped Game 1 largely because its pitchers failed to close out innings.

Misericordia, which had 15 singles and one double, scored 11 of its runs with two outs.

The Cougars scored four of their five runs in the second inning after two out. They scored five runs in the fourth after two outs, to grab a 10-2 lead.

Jun 4, 2024; Eastlake, OH, USA; Wisconsin-Whitewater Warhawks first basemen Eli Frank (45) during the DIII Baseball College World Series at Classic Park. Mandatory Credit: David Dermer-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 4, 2024; Eastlake, OH, USA; Wisconsin-Whitewater Warhawks first basemen Eli Frank (45) during the DIII Baseball College World Series at Classic Park. Mandatory Credit: David Dermer-USA TODAY Sports

Then after Whitewater pulled within 10-8 with a six-run rally in the fifth inning, Misericordia added single runs in the seventh and eighth innings, both after two outs.

Thanks to the day off on Wednesday, Whitewater should have its top starters available.

Vodenlich could chose to go with Michael Hilker (8-2, 1.66 ERA) or Cade Berendt (7-1, 3.38).

Hilker last pitched Saturday, when he threw 101 pitches over eight innings in a 2-0 loss to Salve Regina.

Berendt threw 77 pitches over four innings Monday in a 7-4 victory over Salve Regina.

Jack Hagen (9-0, 3.13 ERA) started games on Sunday and Monday. He threw just 44 pitches over three innings Sunday in an 11-10 victory over Birmingham-Southern but came back the next day to throw a total of 71 pitches over six innings in a 5-2 victory over Salve Regina.

Another factor potentially in Whitewater’s favor is recent history. The Warhawks have swept 11 doubleheaders this season.

They had to beat WIAC rival UW-La Crosse twice on the same day to win the Super Regional title and advance to the World Series.

Then they had to beat Salve Regina twice on Monday to stay alive and reach the title round to face Misericordia.

They will need to pull off one more sweep to win the third national title in program history.

UW-Whitewater Warhawks starting pitcher Max Huseboe works against Misericordia  during the DIII  College World Series at at Classic Park in Eastlake, Ohio.
UW-Whitewater Warhawks starting pitcher Max Huseboe works against Misericordia during the DIII College World Series at at Classic Park in Eastlake, Ohio.

This article originally appeared on Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Whitewater needs to sweep Misericordia to win NCAA DIII World Series