Green Knights Storm to MWC Championship

From Sports Information Director, May 12, 2012 | Baseball
by Dan Lukes, dan.lukes@snc.edu, (920) 403-4077

GRINNELL, Iowa - St. Norbert College cruised to its fourth Midwest Conference baseball championship with a 12-3 win over Beloit College in the championship game of the MWC Tournament at Grinnell College's North Diamond.

The Green Knights (26-11) won their last MWC title in 2003 and tied a school record for wins in a season. St. Norbert also clinched a berth in the NCAA Division III Tournament, its first since gaining an at-large berth in 2009.

Beloit (19-21) took a 2-0 lead in the top of the second inning before the Green Knights answered. Chris Hillesheim hit a solo home run in the bottom of the second inning. Hillesheim came through again in the third with an RBI single to score Jordan Powers. Matt Hannon then scored on a balk to make it 3-2.

St. Norbert broke the game open in the fourth inning, scoring four times. Travis Mason hit a two-run double for a 5-2 lead. Garrick Fisher's sacrifice fly scored Hannon, and Mason scored on the play thanks to an error.

Beloit countered with a run in the eighth to make it 7-3 but the Green Knights scored five runs in the bottom of the eighth to remove the mystery of the outcome. Hannon was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded, and Mason's infield single scored another run. Fisher had an RBI on an infield error that led two a second run scoring on the play, and Hillesheim drove in his third run of the game with a single to end the scoring.

Hillesheim finished 4-for-5 with three RBIs, while Mason was 2-for-5 with three RBIs and two runs scored. Chris Laux added a 2-for-4 afternoon. Powers and Hannon both scored three runs, with Powers officially going 0-for-0 with five walks.

Mason improved to 7-1 on the mound, allowing eight hits with two walks and two strikeouts in six-plus innings pitched.

St. Norbert will find out its NCAA regional tournament draw late Sunday night or early Monday morning. Regional play begins Wednesday, May 16.