College baseball: Yellowjackets prevail in winner-take-all game for UMAC tourney berth
UWS took the second game 8-2 and with it, the tiebreaker against Minnesota Morris for the fourth and final tournament slot.
SUPERIOR — Wisconsin-Superior ended Minnesota Morris's 11-game winning streak and its season and by doing so continued its own on Sunday, May 8, splitting a make-up doubleheader on the final day of the Upper Midwest Athletic Conference baseball regular season for both teams.
The teams entered the day tied at 12-7 in league play. The Cougars rolled 12-0 in the opener at NBC Spartan Sports Complex, but UWS took Game 2 by an 8-2 score. Deadlocked at 13-8 in the standings, the tiebreaker was settled by the first of their three meetings this season, which the Yellowjackets won 4-3 at Wade Stadium in Duluth on April 16.
Morris scored seven runs over the first two innings to put the first game away early, blanking the Yellowjackets offense on five singles in the seven-inning game.
In the winner-take-all nightcap, the Yellowjackets took the lead with three runs in the bottom of the first inning and took control with five in the bottom of the fifth.
Isaac Fugere (Duluth East) was UWS's primary offensive hero. He singled in the Yellowjackets' first run of the game, then went deep to left off UMM starter Joey Reinarts in the fifth to expand a 4-2 lead to 7-2. He finished 3-for-4 with four RBIs and scored twice. Sam McNosky added a pair of singles and a stolen base for UWS, which had 10 hits.
Bryce Flanagan and Ryan Rodriguez formed an effective tag-team for the Yellowjackets' pitching staff. Flanagan started and went 4 2/3 innings, allowing two runs (one earned) on six hits. Rodriguez was credited with the win after pitching the last 4 1/3, allowing two hits and no runs. Both pitchers struck out five batters apiece.
UWS will open the UMAC tournament at the University of Northwestern in St. Paul against the hosts on Thursday at 7 p.m.