APPLETON, WI – Luis Navedo gave La Roche an early cushion with a 2-run first inning home run and Tanner Wilt cruised through the Warhawks lineup as the Redhawks opened the DIII College World Series with a 5-3 victory over 2014 National Champion Wisconsin-Whitewater. La Roche will play fellow Pennsylvania team Keystone College tomorrow at 2:15pm (ET) at Neuroscience Group Field.
Colin Williamson smacked a leadoff hit up the middle and two batters later All-American leftfielder Navedo took UW-Whitewater starting pitcher Curtis Morgan deep to left field for a 2-run home run.
All-American Wilt sent the Warhawks down in order in the first and third innings. UW-Whitewater picked up a base runner in the second but Redhawks' backstop Shane Roebuck gunned Matt Wary out trying to swipe second base.
La Roche added to their lead with a run in the third. Lazor opened the inning with a bloop single and advanced to third on a hit and run. Two batters later David Lemley sent a fly ball that tailed into the right field corner to score Lazor.
Wilt had another 1-2-3 inning in the fourth, striking out two including an inning ending strikeout that Cal Aldriged chased out of the zone. La Roche used the momentum to tack on another run in the top of the fifth. Williamson got things started with a double to center and Navedo came through again with a single up the middle for a 4-0 lead.
Williamson, Tyler Craig and Ben Herstine turned a 6-4-3 GDP to end the fifth and Roebuck poked a single through the right side in the sixth for the Redhawks' fifth run. La Roche nearly added a sixth run but Roebuck was thrown out in a bang-bang play at the plate.
UW-Whitewater put runners on the corners with two outs in the sixth but Wilt picked up a huge inning ending strikeout getting Steve Chamberlain to freeze on a 3-2 curveball. The All-American starter sent the Warhawks down again in order to end the seventh.
UW-Whitewater broke the shutout with a Dane Burman solo shot in the eighth. The Warhawks added two more in the ninth but Wilt got Jordan Kuczynski to ground out to Craig to preserve the Redhawks' first-ever World Series win.
Wilt threw a near-perfect game with a solo shot in the eighth and a seeing eye and bloop single in the ninth being his only blemishes. He scattered just eight hits and struck out six to pick up his fifth complete game win this season.
Navedo's home run was the fourteenth of his career tying George Nahay for the school record. He went 4 for 5 with the home run, 3 RBI and scored. Lazor had himself a day with 3 hits and a run while Williamson doubled, single and scored twice.
The Redhawks advance in the Winner's Bracket and will play Keystone tomorrow at 2:15pm (ET).