Spartans Lose Heartbreaker in Regional Open
May 17, 2018
DULUTH, Minn. – In a back and fourth battle, the University of Dubuque Spartans fell on walk off in the bottom of the ninth inning, 8-7, in the 2018 Midwest Regional.
The Spartans wasted no time, as Jack Lasswell doubled on a 3-2 pitch to lead off the game. Garst followed up Lasswell with a single up the middle to put UD on the board first .
After a walk by Kellen Mitchell, Justin Jensen hit one into the left center field gap to score Garst and put runners on second and third with no outs. Thomas Kempf recorded the first out of the inning for UD, however, it was a productive out as it was a sacrifice fly to left field to bring home Mitchell.
North Central began their half of the inning the same way the Spartans did with a double to left field and single to score their first run of the game. The Cardinals would score two more runs in the innings to even the score up at 3-3.
Both starting pitchers settled in after the first inning. Although both teams would put base runners on, no runs would score over the next three innings.
With one out in the top of the fifth, Kellen Mitchell beat out a double play attempt to keep the inning alive. After Jensen walked to follow Mitchell, Kempf roped a double down the right field line to clear the bases and regain the lead for the Spartans at 5-3. North Central would get one run back in the bottom half of the fifth but Kueter stranded a runner at third for the second straight inning with a flyout to center.
North Central delivered back to back doubles to lead off the bottom of the sixth inning tied the score up once again. The Cardinals doubled for the third time in the inning off Kueter, to grab the lead for the first time at 6-5.
Both teams continued to trade blows as the Spartans answered in the top of the seventh. Lasswell began the inning with a walk and after two straight outs, Justin Jensen was hit in the head to put two runners on. Jensen was okay and stayed in the game.
A wild pitch moved both runners up into scoring position when Thomas Kempf poked a ball into left field to score two runs for his fourth and fith RBI’s, including Jensen on an acrobatic slide to avoid the tag and the Spartans took the lead once again.
Jordan Nelson relieved Chase Kueter on the mound for the bottom of the seventh and once again, North Central evened the score on a two-out single to left field. Another two-out hit put runners on second and third. The Spartans then brought in closer Nathan Schneiderman who induced a groundout to third base to escape the jam.
The Spartans had the top of the lineup up in the top of the ninth inning but went one, two, three. North Central led off the bottom of the ninth inning with a double to right center. Schneiderman struck out the following batter but a single to right field plated the winning run for a North Central walk off win.
At the Plate
Thomas Kempf: 2-3, 5 RBI
Dalton Garst: 2-5, 1 RBI, 1 R
Justin Jensen: 1-2, 1 RBI, 2 R, 1 BB
Will Doherty: 2-4, 2 2B
Chase Kueter: 6.0 IP, 10 H, 6 R, 6 ER, 1 BB, 3 K
Jordan Nelson: 0.2 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER
Nathan Schneiderman (L, 3-4). 1.2 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 2 K
-Thomas Kempf’s five RBI’s are the most in a game by a Spartan this season
-Chase Kueter has now pitched the most innings in a season in school history. He is now at 94 innings pitched, breaking the record of 89
-Kueter is also now tied for the most starts in a season by a pitcher with 13
Post Game Interviews with Coach Paul Wyczawski and Thomas Kempf
UD will look to keep the season alive on Friday as they play at 11:00 a.m. against Bethany Lutheran.