Wartburg Comes Up Short At IIAC Tournament [Video]
Luther's title marked only the second time in IIAC tournament history that Wartburg (33-11 overall) was eliminated by the arch-rival Norse (32-12). The only previous time it happened was in 2007, when the Knights were also the No. 1 seed.
Wartburg built a 2-0 lead in the second inning when senior Milton Croes (Noord, Aruba) hit his second career triple and sophomore Zach Hovick (Roland) drove him in on a double. Then Hovick scored on a single by junior Mike Brown (Bettendorf).
The Knights added to the margin in the third inning, when Blake Mahoney (Des Moines) crossed the plate on a double by Jacob Thumann (DeWitt).
Luther rallied to take a 5-3 lead, scoring once on a ground out in the fourth inning and plating four runs in fifth. The Norse never trailed the rest of the game.
Brown and Croes each went 2-for-4 at the plate and Thumann extended his hitting streak to 11 games, while reaching base safely in the past 15. Both streaks mark a season-long.
The Knights will find out late tonight or early Monday if They receive an at-large bid to the NCAA Regional Tournament. By winning the league tournament, Luther received the IIAC's automatic bid.
The No. 3 seeded Norse went 4-0 in the IIAC tournament with the offense scoring 39 runs. They started the tournament with a 12-10 win vs. Simpson on Thursday afternoon and finished the day with a 8-4 upset of No. 2 Buena Vista. On Friday, they beat No. 1 Wartburg 9-3 in a game interrupted by a 2:27 minute rain delay.
Wartburg got to the championship game by beating 22nd-ranked and No. 2 seed Buena Vista (33-11) in Saturday's elimination game. The Knights beat the Beavers, 10-9, on a walk-off single to shallow center field by sophomore Cody Hyler (Des Moines) in the 10th inning.
Courtesy: Wartburg Knights via YouTube