Courtesy of Oswego Sports Information Department
APPLETON, Wisc. – The nationally-ranked Oswego State baseball team bowed out of its second-straight NCAA Division III Championship World Series appearance with a 11-4 loss to top-seeded Randolph-Macon College on Saturday morning at Fox Cities Stadium.
Trailing 5-1 to start the third, the Lakers blanked Randolph-Macon for the first time in the tilt and exploded for three runs in the bottom. Zach Whelan led off with a single and reached third when the right fielder misplayed the ball. Ryan Enos followed with a double down the left-field line to drive in Whelan and make it a 5-2 contest. John Barnesfound the left center gap for his fourth hit of the World Series, pushing Enos across. Myles Kutscher matched Enos with a double of his own to the same field as the freshman's two-bagger, scoring Barnes to pull the Lakers to within one, 5-4, after three.
In the top of the first, a fielder's choice put-out attempt at third did not work and left runners on the corners with one out. Reston Pettit did his job, inducing a ground ball to short, but the Lakers threw the ball away at first, allowing the inning to continue and a run to score. Randolph-Macon added two more tallies with back-to-back singles and the Lakers faced a 3-0 deficit before their first at-bats for the second-straight day.
After the Lakers went down in order, the Yellow Jackets added two more runs on three singles and a sacrifice bunt in the next frame. Oswego answered with bases loaded and no outs but were only able to plate one run on a double play before a strikeout ended the threat.
Randolph-Macon immediately answered, however, cashing in on a lead-off walk. A double plated the runner at first and after two outs for the Lakers and a runner moving to third, a wild pitch made it a 7-4 deficit. The fifth inning was the first scoreless frame of the game but a two-out Yellow Jacket single with runners on the corners in the top of the sixth put the Lakers a grand slam away at 8-4. Oswego opened the bottom with a lead-off single from Barnes – his third of the day – but a double play and a strikeout squandered the opportunity.
The Yellow Jackets tacked on another in the seventh, starting with a lead-off double and using a sacrifice bunt and a sacrifice fly to push their advantage to 9-4. Two more runs were added by Randolph-Macon in the eighth to close out the scoring.
Oswego ends the year with a 30-14 overall record, its third-straight year with 30 or more victories. The Lakers have made four-consecutive trips to the national tournament and made the final site each of the last two campaigns.