APPLETON, WI – La Roche Baseball is now just one of four teams left at the College World Series after eliminating St. John Fisher on Monday afternoon in a loser's bracket game. The Redhawks will have to beat Keystone twice to advance to the best of three National Championship Series. Trinity (TX) and Cortland State will meet in the other National Semifinal Game.
Ethan Lewis faced just above the minimum in the first three innings. He pitched into a 5-4-3 inning ending double play in the first and then left a runner on second in the second inning.
La Roche got on the board first with four runs in the third inning. Ian Velez hustled down the line to force a bad throw from second base. Shane Roebuck then sent a ball off the wall in left to score Velez and Tyler Craig followed with a liner up the middle for a 2-0 lead. Navedo shot a seeing eye hit into left field for a 3-0 lead and NCAA Mideast Regional MVP Ben Herstine doubled to the right field gap for a 4 run cushion.
St. John Fisher got two back in the top of the fourth but La Roche broke things open in the bottom half of the inning. Velez went yard to start the inning and then Roebuck walked. Craig came just inches short of his first career home run, but both scored on a Williamson double into left field to put the Redhawks up 7-2 at the end of four.
The Cardinals loaded the bases in the sixth inning but Lewis got a comebacker to the mound to end the threat. Relief pitcher Trey Claar entered the game in the seventh and sent St. John Fisher down in order.
St. John Fisher tacked on two in the eighth but Claar limited the damage pitching his way out of a no-out bases loaded jam. The Redhawks got both back in the bottom of the eighth when Craig lined a bases loaded 2-out 0-2 count curveball into right field.
The Cardinals made it interesting with two runs in the ninth but Shane Emrich came in to earn his first save of the year.
La Roche's bottom of the order provided a majority of the offense. Craig went 3 for 4 with 3 RBI and scored twice. Velez and Roebuck each scored twice and hit in a run and Williamson had a 2-run double.
Lewis threw six strong innings to record the win.
La Roche will play Keystone later today in a National Semifinal Game. Game time is approximately 5pm.