APPLETON, Wisc. - California Lutheran University escaped a bases-loaded jam in the ninth inning Friday, earning a 4-2 win over Wheaton College (Mass.) to wrap up Friday's opening day of the NCAA Division III Baseball Championship at Neuroscience Group Field at Fox Cities Stadium.
California Lutheran got a fine pitching performance from starter Marshall Pautsch, who went eight-plus innings. He allowed seven hits, two runs, struck out 10 and did not walk a batter. Miguel Salud came in to pitch after Pautsch gave up a lead-off double in the ninth.
Salud allowed a walk, an infield single and a run-scoring single but also struck out the side in the ninth. Wheaton had cut the lead to two and still had the bases loaded when Salud struck out Matt Cook to end the game.
Max Weinstein and Trey Saito both collected two hits, including an extra-base hit apiece, to pace California Lutheran, which scored single runs in the first, second, sixth and eighth. Nick Raposo and Tyler Walsh both went 2-for-4 for Wheaton.
California Lutheran plated a single run in the first and the second innings, before scoring another in the sixth inning to take a 3-0 advantage.
Willy Boyd ended the Lyons scoreless streak in the seventh inning with an RBI double to right field that scored Walsh.
Cal Lutheran added one more run in the eighth to take a 4-1 lead. A single through the right side from senior Josh LaJoie cut the Wheaton deficit in half with Raposo coming around to score.
Wheaton will take on UMass.-Boston in an elimination game at 4:30 p.m. on Saturday, May 27, while California Lutheran will face North Central at 7:45 p.m.