Appleton, Wis. - In the first game of the NCAA Division III National Championship best-of-three series, the Cal Lutheran baseball team could not overcome the powerful offense of Washington & Jefferson (42-11) and fell to the Presidents 12-2 at Fox Cities Stadium on monday afternoon.
The loss marks the first time in over a month that the Kingsmen have been defeated, dating back to Apr. 28 and snaps a 12-game winning streak.
Making its third appearance all-time in the National Championship, CLU fell behind early after the Presidents scored a run apiece in the first and second innings to take a 2-0 lead.
On the offensive end, the Kingsmen were unable to come through with timely hits and take advantage of four W&J errors in the game.
The Presidents, meanwhile, came through time and time again with two outs including three straight two-out hits in the fourth to extend their lead to 4-0.
W&J added three more in the fifth to jump out to a 7-0 lead before CLU rallied for two runs of its own in the sixth. Jimmy Jauregui led off the inning with a single up the middle and Weston Clark stroked a double down the right field line to spark a rally. Brad Fullerton followed with an RBI single to right and Cheynne Giles drove in Clark on a sacrifice fly.
The Violet and Gold, however, hit into a double play to halt their rallies in both the sixth and seventh inning and could not piece anything together against Presidents starter Matt Heslin.
W&J scored five more runs between the eighth and ninth innings to complete the 12-2 victory in game one.
Heslin (5-0) finished with a complete game, allowing nine hits and two runs with no walks and no strikeouts.
CLU started ace Marshall Pautsch on two day's rest and the senior righty went 4.2 innings while allowing eight hits and seven runs, although just four earned as errors proved costly. Jeff Rebello and Jaden Stromire pitched in relief to close out the game.
At the plate, the Kingsmen were led by Weinstein who went 3-for-5 while Sinjin Todd, Alec Iniguez, Jauregui, Clark, Fullerton and Austin Kay tallied one hit apiece.
Cal Lutheran (38-11) will look to even the series in game two tomorrow, May 30 beginning at 9:00 a.m. PT and force a deciding game three, to be played following game two, with the National Championship on the line.
Box Score: WJ 12, CLU 2
Tournament Central: 2017 NCAA Division III Baseball Championships
CLU Instagram: http://instagram.com/clusports#
Baseball Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/kingsmen_baseball/
CLU Twitter: https://twitter.com/clusports
Baseball Twitter: https://twitter.com/CLUBaseball
CLU Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/clusports