Aurora Finishes Season With 6-5 10-inning Loss At NCAA Midwest Regional
Courtesy of Aurora University
WHITEWATER, Wis. -- The Aurora University Spartan baseball team concluded the 2012 season with a 6-5 10 inning loss to the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater Warhawks at the NCAA Division III Midwest Regional in Whitewater, Wis.
AU finishes 2012 with a school record tying 38-10 record (1999 Spartans finished 38-10 as well) and were Northern Athletics Conference champions and tournament champions and made the third consecutive appearance and 20th overall to the NCAA Division III Regionals.
In the contest against Whitewater, AU fell behind early when the Warhawks got two runs in the top of the first inning off AU starting pitcher Anthony Buonamici. But Buonamici would settle in and limit the Warhawks to no runs over the next four innings while the AU bats chipped away at the lead.
The Spartans got their first run of the game in the bottom of the second inning. With two-outs, junior Mike Foley singled to center and came around to score when senior Josh Davidson reached on an error. The throwing error on the Warhawk shortstop bounced down the right field line with Foley coming around and sliding in just ahead of the tag of the catcher.
AU then tied the game in the bottom of the fifth inning with Davidson leading off with a single and stole second. He then scored one-out later when senior shortstop Bobby Wilson singled to right to drive in Davidson for the tying run.
Whitewater responded in the top of the sixth with two runs and chasing Buonamici from the game. With two-outs and the bases loaded following a hit-by-pitch, Buonamici allowed a single to left that scored two and Spartan senior Steve Sitterly came on in relief to end the inning.
The Spartan bats would not be out-done though as they answered immediately with three runs to take their first lead of the game. Senior Ryan Adams walked to start the inning, stole second and moved to third on a ground out by senior Brett Van Asdlen. Adams then scored when junior Cory Walden reached on an error by the shortstop. After a Foley strikeout, Davidson singled and junior catcher Ryan McMahon walked to load the bases to bring Wilson to the plate. Wilson singled sharply through the right side to drive in Walden and Davidson for the 5-4 lead.
Sitterly gave up an unearned run in the eighth that tied the game 5-5 and when neither team managed a base-runner the game went into extra-innings, the second such game for the Spartans in consecutive nights.
In the top of the 10th, Whitewater got a one-out single with their runner then moving to second on a stolen base. After AU junior pitcher Luke Gilbertson got a strikeout for the second out of the inning, Whitewater junior David Claddis walked to the plate. Gilbertson got Claddis to hit a towering pop-up right in front of home plate that McMahon appeared to be camped underneath. Battling the gusty winds in Whitewater, the ball hit off the heal of McMahon's glove and bounced to the backstop allowing the Warhawk baserunner to cross the plate with the go ahead run and the 6-5 lead.
AU couldn't manage a comeback in the bottom of the 10th and for the second time in the 2012 Midwest regional, lost an extra inning game and concluding the 2012 season for the Spartans.