UW-Oshkosh finished one win short of a trip to the NCAA Division III World Series after suffering a pair of setbacks to Concordia University Chicago (Ill.) on Sunday (May 20) in Duluth, Minn.
Needing to win twice Sunday, Concordia University Chicago clinched its second straight trip to the Division III World Series in Appleton with wins over UW-Oshkosh by scores of 7-1 in the first game and 3-2 during the second contest.
Concordia University Chicago (38-13), ranked eighth in the country by D3baseball.com, finished with a 21-11 advantage in hits over the two games as Cougar starting pitchers Brian Musielak and Mike Formella produced complete-game efforts.
Seventh-ranked UW-Oshkosh (34-10) concluded the year with its most wins since 2007, its fewest losses since 2004 and a program-record 111 doubles.
The Cougars advance to play at the eight-team World Series that begins Friday (May 25) in Appleton.
In Sunday's first game, the Cougars scored a run in the first inning and built a 7-0 advantage after seven frames. Musielak (6-2) gave up eight hits while striking out three.
Jose Mercado and Mitch Wilson both had three of Concordia University Chicago's 16 hits. Wilson drove in the first two Cougar runs with a two-out double in the first inning and a one-out infield single during third frame.
Titans starting pitcher Jon Maday (4-2) suffered the loss after allowing seven runs in 6.1 innings.
During the second contest, Formella, making his first start among 25th pitching appearances of the season, limited the Titans to two unearned runs on three hits. He walked one and struck out four on the way to improving his season record to 6-1.
Concordia University Chicago manufactured a run in the top of the second inning as Justin Rodriguez singled with one out, stole second base with two outs and scored on a single by Connor Brandon.
Brandon's single was the last Cougar baserunner UW-Oshkosh starting pitcher Lucas Gregory allowed until Wilson hit a solo home run in the sixth frame that gave Concordia University Chicago a 2-1 advantage.
UW-Oshkosh tied the score at 1 in the home half of the sixth inning following three errors in the span of three pitches by Mercado, the Cougars shortstop. Paulson reached via a one-out fielder error by Mercado. Then, two pitches later, Radde hit a grounder to Mercado, who bobbled the ball before sailing his subsequent throw to first base, allowing Paulson to score.
After Wilson provided the Cougars the lead, Jacob Frank delivered a two-out, run-scoring triple that scored the eventual game-winning run in the seventh inning.
The Titans began the eighth inning with runners at first and second bases after Cummins reached via and error and Staniske singled. Paulson bunted both runners into scoring position with one out, but Formella limited the damage to one run by getting a groundout and a strikeout. Formella then retired all three Titan batters in the ninth inning to preserve the victory.
Gregory (5-4) was charged with the loss despite setting down 13 consecutive batters between the third and seventh innings. He allowed three runs on four hits across 6.2 innings with one walk and three strikeouts.
Rodriguez had two of the Cougars' five hits.
UW-Oshkosh's Grimm, Paulson, Radde and Colan Treml were each named to the 11-member All-Duluth Regional Team.
Paulson ended his UW-Oshkosh career as the Titans' all-time leader with 108 walks. He also finished fifth in program history in stolen bases (66) and at-bats (618).
Andy Brahier, who also finished his Titan career with 618 at-bats, ranks sixth in program history with 217 hits and seventh with 41 doubles.
With their deep run at the Duluth Regional, the Titans now boast a 107-53 record in their 25 trips to the NCAA postseason. UW-Oshkosh won Division III titles in 1985 and 1994.
UW-Oshkosh Postgame Press Conference [head coach Kevin Tomasiewicz]: