Founded 1901

Royal Purple

Founded 1901

Royal Purple

Founded 1901

Royal Purple

Baseball: ‘Hawks prepare for WIAC tourney


By Jenny Dupuis

The WIAC Conference Tournament begins this weekend and the Warhawks have high expectations for the outcome.

UW-Whitewater shortstop David Cladis

The ‘Hawks have been successful so far this season. The team has a 30-5 overall conference record, and they were named 2013 WIAC Champions for the 14th time in school history. According to the most recent poll, the team is ranked No. 4 in the nation, not to mention UW-Whitewater’s smartest men’s sports team, with a grade point average of 3.161.

“We are absolutely a regional contender,” Head coach John Vodenlich said.

The greatest opponents in the WIAC are UW-Stevens Point and UW-La Crosse for the ’Hawks.

“Stevens Point is a quality program,” Vodenlich said. “They have been there every step of the way. There’s a good chance they will finish second. La Crosse has some very good pitching.”

The ’Hawks have a record of 3-4 against UW-Stevens Point.

Other teams in the tournament UW-Oshkosh and UW-Superior, also have a telling reputation and are not counted out as competition either.

Vodenlich said that the ‘Hawks have good pitching, starters, and a lethal offensive lineup.
“We’ve done it on all sides of the ball,” Vodenlich said.

The ’Hawks’ minds have been set, since fall, to go deep in the season, Vodelich said. With that said, they wanted to push for a national championship.

Senior captain David Cladis said he thinks this team is the most prepared out of his time playing with the ’Hawks.

“Hopefully we can bring it home. We have the veterans to do it. We’ve all been there before, so we’re expecting nothing less than a championship,” Cladis said.

The NCAA tournament also is in sight for the ‘Hawks.

“As far as getting into the [NCAA] tournament, I think our chances are pretty good,” Cladis said.

Vodenlich said the team is not overlooking the WIAC tournament, but they are prepared as they are going to get.

“I would be surprised if we don’t get in [to the NCAA tournament]. But, this tournament is the only way in, so we are not taking it lightly,” Vodenlich said.

As far as the NCAA Tournament goes, the ‘Hawks will host on Prucha Field at James B. Miller Stadium May 16 through 19.

Last Wednesday, the ‘Hawks played The College of St. Scholastica Saints and swept them 15-5 and 5-3. The Saints are a contender in the NCAA tournament.

Senior shortstop Steven Bartlein thought the end results were good foreshadows for the NCAA tournament.
“I think tonight actually represented that well, because that was a team we’ve seen in the regional the last couple of years,” Bartlein said.

The next step after the NCAA Tournament for the ‘Hawks would be the College World Series. The team has played at the College World Series in 2004, 2005, 2008 and 2011.
“Hopefully we peak at the right times, so we can get there again,” Cladis said.

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Founded 1901
Baseball: ‘Hawks prepare for WIAC tourney