St. Thomas (Minn.) rallies to win Central Region title, earns spot in finals
ROCK ISLAND, Ill. -- St. Thomas (Minn.) won its fifth NCAA regional baseball championship in 16 seasons with a 4-0 march through this week’s six-team tournament.
The second-seed Tommies rallied from a 3-0 deficit on Sunday to record a 9-3 victory against Rose-Hulman (Ind.).
St. Thomas (37-7) improved to 12-0 in May and 28-2 in its last 30 games. It advanced to this week’s eight-team DIvision III Championships.
The Tommies placed second at nationals in 1999 and 2000, won the national crowns in 2001 and 2009 and took third in 2012, with many of the current players.
Despite playing without injured All-America candidate Tyler Peterson, St. Thomas slapped 56 hits and scored 38 runs in its 4-0 regional run.
Colin Wendinger started and pitched into the fourth inning, allowing seven hits and three runs. Caleb Fernholz took the pitching win for the second day in a row with strong middle relief as he allowed no runs in 3.2 innings. Tommy Danczyk came on with a 5-3 lead to face the tying run and got the last five outs for his 10th save.
J.D. Dorgan had a solo homer and sac fly to drive in two runs and added a single. Tim Kuzniar had a pair of RBI hits. Brady Johnson went 3-for-3 and drove in one.
UST trailed 3-2 into the last of the seventh inning but tied the game on singles by Sam Miller and Ben Podobinski plus an infield error. Kuzniar followed with an RBI single, and Dorgan added a sacrifice fly to give the Toms a 5-3 lead. In the eighth inning, UST loaded the bases, and a two-out error led to four more runs.