RECAP: @UTTylerBaseball moves to 2-0 at NCAA Championship tournament
Play Video Photo: Mark Martin
Photo: Mark Martin
UT Tyler (37-17)
Misericordia Univ. (36-14)
5/26/2018 | Appleton, Wis. | Attendance: 1369
UT Tyler0321000017101
Misericordia Univ.000010002382
Win: Ryan Cheatham (9-5) 8.183261
Loss: D Koch (7-1) 6.086413
Henry Sanchez (UTTBB) 313100
K Jarema (MIS) 502000
P Abate (MIS) 502100

Saturday, May 26, 2018
by Wes Bloomquist |

APPLETON, Wisconsin – UT Tyler senior Ryan Cheatham fought for 8 1/3 innings, Henry Sanchez had three hits and Jared Pauley extended a 20-game hitting streak with two hits and two RBIs to lead the Patriots to a 7-3 win over Misericordia on Saturday to improve to 2-0 at the NCAA Division III Championship at Fox Cities Stadium.


The Patriots (37-17) have now won seven straight games and will play at 4:30 p.m. on Sunday against the elimination-game winner of Randolph-Macon (36-8-1) and Misericordia (36-14). The Cougars and Yellow Jackets will play each other at 10 a.m. on Sunday and would need to beat UT Tyler twice, while the Patriots are now one win away from playing in the NCAA DIII National Championship final series on Monday.

“This is the first time we’ve won the second game of a tournament in the past few weeks,” UT Tyler coach Brent Porche said. “You can only come back from the dead so many times, so it’s good to be in this position right now. No matter what, it’s the same approach though when we come back out here. We want play relaxed, trust each other, have fun playing together and execute to be successful. That’s what we are trying to do every time regardless of the situation or the opponent.”

Cheatham (9-5) earned his fourth postseason win after working through six walks and eight hits for the Patriots. A Whitehouse native making his 16th start of the season and the third in the past nine days, Cheatham would strand eight runners on base before turning the ball over to Alex Masotto for the final two outs.

“Every inning coach Porche would ask me for one more,” Cheatham said. “When the fifth came around he just said go compete and get the first guy. That was my approach the entire game. I was just trying to throw strikes and mix up my pitches to give the team a chance to win. With the defense I have behind me it’s easy to go out there and keep the ball low and let them play. It was awesome watching them make those plays behind me today.”

UT Tyler’s offense would support Cheatham with seven runs on 10 hits against the Cougars, including jumping out to a 3-0 lead with three runs in the top of the second inning. After an Alex Bishop walk, Graham Welch would slash a triple down the left-field line to score Bishop for the first run and was followed by Blake Maddox hitting a two-out RBI double and Henry Sanchez an RBI single to left-center. The lead grew to 5-0 in the third with a sacrifice fly from Blake Wilson to score Josh Burns who started the production with a one-out double and the fifth run came home on a Bowie Farris double down the left-field line.

In control of the game with a 5-0 lead, UT Tyler added one more in the fourth with Pauley hitting an RBI single to left-center to score Sanchez who had doubled before Pauley would add the seventh run in the ninth with another RBI single to left field.

Maddox finished the game 2-for-4 with two doubles, while Sanchez was 3-for-3 with two singles and his 17th double of the season. Burns and Farris also had doubles for the Patriots who matched a season-high with five doubles in the game. Welch would tie assistant coach Sam Lane with his 15th triple of his career with the RBI triple in the first and Pauley was 2-for-5 to extend the longest UT Tyler hitting streak of the season. A senior from Longview, Pauley started his streak with a two-hit game against Louisiana College back on April 14 and is hitting .370 as the team's leadoff hitter. 

Cheatham has now earned postseason wins over Ozarks, Aurora, Webster and Misericordia which takes his career win total to 18 at UT Tyler after he went 9-0 last season. 

“He’s the story of the game,” said Porche of Cheatham. “For two years, he’s been a guy for us. Last year toward the end of the year he struggled some and didn’t get a chance to pitch in the postseason. We went two and out with a couple other guys and he didn’t even get a chance. This year, it has been the exact opposite. He’s stepped up in the biggest times. He gave us two big starts at the regional, including a complete game on two days rest. And then he steps up again today and did a phenomenal job. He did everything that he could to help us win.”

UT Tyler has now won seven straight games that started with a 10-1 win over No. 13 Franklin that ended at 2:01 a.m. last Sunday before reeling off wins over No. 7 Webster, No. 1 Wisconsin-Whitewater and two over Rhodes College to win the NCAA DIII Central Regional to advance to the program’s first national championship tournament where they are now 2-0 at after the win on Saturday. The seven-game streak is the longest of the season.