FINALS BOUND: @UTTylerBaseball to play for NCAA national baseball championship
Play Video Photo: Steve Frommell,
Photo: Steve Frommell,
UT Tyler (38-18)
Randolph-Macon Coll. (38-9-1)
5/28/2018 | Appleton, Wis. | Attendance: 1223
UT Tyler0001610008101
Randolph-Macon Coll.001201020690
Win: Chris Stodolka (2-1) 3.133321
Loss: Cullen Moore (0-1) 4.235522
Henry Sanchez (UTTBB) 423000
Ryan Duphorn (RMC) 413300

Monday, May 28, 2018
by Wes Bloomquist |

APPLETON, Wisconsin – The UT Tyler Patriots will play for a national championship on Tuesday after earning an 8-6 win over No. 5 Randolph-Macon on Monday to advance to the best-of-three NCAA Division III Baseball Championship final series at Fox Cities Stadium. UT Tyler and No. 6 Texas Lutheran will meet in the finals starting with an 11 a.m. doubleheader on Tuesday with the if-necessary game scheduled for 11 a.m. on Wednesday to determine the national champion.


"These guys are gritty," UT Tyler head coach Brent Porche said. “This is a team that has been on the brink of elimination several times, so we’re not scared with two outs or worried to make the next out. We just know that if we have a breath, we have a shot. That’s what these guys did today. That was a tough team that we just beat. They had sticks up and down the lineup and their coaches do a great job of preparing them and making adjustments in the game. That was a big-time challenge for us.”

UT Tyler and TLU met in the regular season with the Patriots sweeping a three-game series in Seguin on Feb. 23-24. The Bulldogs advaned after staving off a 5-4 win over Concordia-Chicago on Monday after first staving off elimination with a 9-7 win over them on Sunday night. 

To advance, the Patriots (38-18) scored all eight of their runs with two outs to eliminate the Yellow Jackets (38-9-1), including a six-run fifth inning that started with Blake Maddox blasting a solo home run and a pair of two-run doubles from Alex Bishop and Blake Wilson. The Patriots, who lost 6-1 on Sunday to R-MC in the first matchup between the two teams, trailed 3-1 going to the fifth before Maddox followed two ground outs with his second home run of the tournament.

“It just takes that one spark to get us going and that’s what we got today,” Porche said. “These guys fought so hard. I’m so happy for them and our fans that are here. We are going to be playing baseball on the last day of the season and only two teams get to say that. We don’t have too long to soak this one in but we are really excited. This is big-time stuff.”

Bishop led the Patriots by going 2-for-5 with three RBIs, while Henry Sanchez was 3-for-4 with two runs scored and Tanner Roach added two more hits. UT Tyler was 9-for-18 with two outs in the game, starting with Bishop breaking up a no-hitter from Yellow Jacket starting pitcher Cullen Moore with an RBI double in the top of the fourth to score Roach who took a one-out walk. Bishop was 2-for-2 with two outs, while Sanchez and Roach also had two hits with two outs.

“I can’t explain it,” Porche said. “It would make me feel more comfortable if we got some runners on with nobody out, but like I’ve said it just takes that one spark and hitting can be contagious. Once someone gets it moving and we get some confidence going good things start happening.”

UT Tyler reliever Chris Stodolka (2-1) earned the win after throwing 3 1/3 innings of relief, while Alex Masotto earned a two-inning save with four strike outs and only one hit allowed. Masotto would finish off the game by striking out the side to send the Patriots to the championship final. Stodolka limited R-MC to three hits in the 3 1/3 innings of relief after coming into the game for starter Nate Imig who would go 3 2/3. Imig would not factor in the decision but struck out two and limited a potent Randolph-Macon lineup to three runs before turning the ball over to Stodolka who would strand two in the fourth, two in the sixth and one in the seventh. The Yellow Jackets would score two in the eighth, but Masotto would get a groundout to Farris at short stop to strand one and set up the final inning.

UT Tyler is now 6-0 in the NCAA tournament in elimination games and has ended the seasons of No. 1 Wisconsin-Whitewater, No. 5 Randolph-Macon, No. 13 Webster and No. 19 Franklin on its way to the pinnacle of NCAA DIII baseball.