The baseball team has ended WIAC play on a high note after winning its last seven games, and will come into the WIAC Tournament as the two seed.
The Warhawks were able to take three of four from UW-Stevens Point before winning all four games over UW-Superior by a combined score of 53-23 this past weekend. Freshman Marty Herum won Walmart Athlete of the Week with his play against the Yellowjackets, batting a .533 average as well as hitting 18 RBIs, four doubles, a home run and seven runs scored.
The next game for the ’Hawks will be their last before the WIAC Tournament against Concordia University.
Head coach John Vodenlich thinks highly of his team heading into the WIAC tournament, which uses a double-elimination format.
“My expectations are to go in there and win the thing,” Vodenlich said. “I hope our players have the same expectations.”
The team’s first opponent will be UW-Stevens Point, who the ’Hawks just recently beat three out of four games. Vodenlich said the team is just looking to take one game at a time, and that they can’t overlook the Pointers.
If the seeding plays out correctly, the ’Hawks will have the opportunity to get revenge on UW-La Crosse, the No. 1 seed. The squad lost all four games against the Eagles two weeks ago. Despite going 0-4 against them, none of the games ended up lopsided. The ’Hawks worst loss in that series was by three runs.
Vodenlich said the team isn’t looking ahead, but they are well aware that the Eagles could be there waiting for them in the championship.
“I think all of our players would absolutely welcome that rematch,” Vodenlich said. “Not in an arrogant way, but I think we’re a different ball club now than we were then. We feel really good about our chances.”
Last year, the ’Hawks made it to the College World Series and Vodenlich said this team could very well make the same kind of postseason run it did a season ago.
“There’s no doubt we could make a run,” Vodenlich said. “If you look at how teams nationally have done, there are a lot of teams that have done great things like win national championships without having a dominating type of year. We’re starting to play very good at the end of the year, and that’s the right time to peak.”
The WIAC tournament starts Friday against UW-Stevens Point, the three seed, at 1 p.m. in La Crosse.