Webster University Baseball Team World Series Bound
The Gorloks have advanced to the NCAA III World Series for the first time in the school's history. The series begins Friday in Appleton, WI.
For the first time in school history, the Webster University baseball team has advanced to the NCAA III World Series. The Gorloks will be one of eight regional champions competing in the World Series this weekend, May 25-29, in Appleton, WI. Webster defeated Birmingham-Southern College (AL), 3-2, to win the NCAA III Rhodes Regional at USA Stadium in Millington, TN, on May 19. To advance, Webster survived a nerve-racking ninth inning to preserve the win.
Webster swept through the regional, winning four straight games, knocking off Birmingham-Southern, seventh-ranked nationally, twice and #22 ranked DePauw University (IN) in the process. The Gorloks are now one of eight teams, out of 372 competing in baseball in NCAA III, to make it to the World Series. Webster is 35-12 on the season, and the 35 wins ties the programs’ all-time high for victories in a year, set in 2010.
Keeping the Gorlok faithful on edge, after walking the lead-off hitter in the ninth with Webster up 3-0, right-hander Cody Hafeli (JR, Kankakee CC, IL) gave way to David Mueller (SR, Westminster Christian Academy, MO). Mueller allowed two singles to load the bases but got a force out at the plate and struck out the next batter looking. A Gorlok error allowed two runners to score but Mueller averted disaster, striking out the next Panther to end the game, earning his second save of the season.
Hafeli gave the Gorloks their fourth straight solid start in the regional, pitching eight innings. He allowed just six hits, one run, and walked one. Hafeli improved to 9-1 on the year, leading the team in wins.
Third baseman Mitchell Bonds (JR, Kankakee CC, IL) drove in OF Alex Kazmierski (JR, Triton CC, IL) in the sixth inning for the Gorloks first run. Designated hitter Mike Rainbolt (JR, Kankakee CC, IL) drove in two insurance runs in the eighth. Every batter in the Webster line-up had at least one hit. Kazmeirski wound up two for four, with two runs scored, and a stolen base.
Shortstop Taylor Stoulp (SO, St. Mary’s HS, MO) was named the Most Valuable Player of the Regional. Tom Henke (SR, Lindbergh HS, MO), Matt Moore (SR, Air Academy HS, CO), Steve Dooley (JR, Florissant Valley CC, MO), Hafeli, and Stoulp were named to the All-Regional Team.
Webster becomes the first team from the St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference to win a regional and gain a berth in the NCAA III World Series. The Gorloks will face Wheaton College (MA) in the first round on May 25, at 10 a.m., in Appleton. Wheaton (38-9) won the Eastern Connecticut Regional in Mansfield, CT. Webster and Wheaton met in a spring trip contest in March, with Wheaton defeating Webster, 1-0, scoring a run in the bottom of the ninth for the win.
This information was provided by Niel DeVasto, Webster University's sports information director. Niel will be providing updates on the team's progress as it competes in the World Series this weekend.