Club baseball heads to World Series in Bradenton, Fla.
The UW-Eau Claire men’s club baseball team won its series in against Iowa State University last weekend 2-0, claiming the regional title and advancing to the Club Baseball World Series May 26 to 31 in Bradenton, Fla. It’s the team’s first trip to the series.
The first game of the series brought a 2-0 victory on 10 Blugold hits.
Sophomore Andy Minga started the ‘Golds scoring with a home run down left field at the top of the second, giving Eau Claire a 1-0 lead.
Eau Claire scored its second run in the third inning when freshman Matt Olson laid down a would-be sacrifice bunt with sophomore Andy Campbell on second. Campbell rounded third and scored off the bunt. Olson made it to first after an error in throw by the Cyclone’s pitcher.
Iowa State 0
Iowa State 2
Club Baseball World Series, May 26 to 31, Bradenton, Fla.
The ‘Golds defense kept the Cyclones from scoring, and senior Greg Aune pitched a four-hitter.
Junior Andy Keding said Aune’s pitching made all the difference in the first game.
“When they saw Greg come out there and throw a four-hitter, their heads were down,” he said.
Aune agreed that the first game set the tone for the series.
“I knew the big game was the first one,” he said. “I just wanted to throw strikes and not walk guys.”
The second game was scheduled for Saturday night; however, after a weather delay, the teams only played the first four innings.
Eau Claire was down 0-2 after giving up runs in the second and third innings. Sophomore Jordan Krause got a base hit in the bottom of the fourth. Aune followed, hitting a double that moved Krause to third and set the stage for a Blugold run. After a strike-out and pop-out, Minga hit a single down the right field line, scoring Krause; it was the ‘Golds final run of the day, as weather forced a delay.
The game resumed Sunday with Keding on the mound. He held the score at 2-1 until the bottom of the sixth. With one out and no one on base, Aune got a base hit. Freshman Pete Storm followed, doing the same. Olson picked up the game-tying RBIs, and Minga got a base hit immediately after, bringing Storm home and ending the game 3-2.
Eau Claire is one of eight teams playing in the World Series. Aune said the team stands a good chance; their opponents won’t know what to expect.
“We’re the only non-Division I school there,” he said. “I think people probably will underestimate us.”
Keding said the Blugolds have exceeded the expectations of the opposition.
“We won conference one other year,” he said. “This is the first time we’ve made it out of regionals.”