Nick Jewett had a pair of clutch two-out RBI singles before a nearly five-hour rain delay, and UW-La Crosse struggled with runners in scoring position, as Trinity University beat the Eagles 8-0 to open the DIII Championship in Appleton.
The Eagles (38-9, 0-1 world series) will face Emory University at approximately 4:30 p.m. in a elimination game Saturday. Trinity (40-3, 1-0) will face SUNY Cortland on Sunday in pool play.
UW-L had at least one hit in each of the first eight innings, but left 13 runners stranded on base. The Eagles were shutout for the first time in 59 games, dating back to a 2-0 loss to UW-Stevens Point in the 2015 WIAC Tournament.
After the game was delayed nearly two hours due to rain earlier in the day, Trinity opened the scoring in the first inning thanks to a two-out RBI single from Jewett. He later added another two-out single in the third to increase the Tigers' lead to 2-0, and went 2-for-4 on the night.
Taylor Kohlwey went 3-for-5 and extended his school-record hitting streak to 50 games with a single in the third inning.
Trinity added another run in the fourth on a groundout before the game was suspended for four hours and forty minutes due to rain.
Both starters returned once the action resumed around 9:45 p.m., including Eagles' ace Caleb Boushley. The junior took the loss after allowing 11 hits and six earned runs over six innings. Ryan Gray earned the win after scattering eight hits and striking out six.
The Tigers broke the game open in the sixth inning with three runs. Jose Santos walked, then came around to score on a error. Carter McEachern followed with a RBI double to right center, driving in Andrew Waters. Austin Singer then doubled in McEachern to make it 6-0.
McEachern hit a two-run homer in the eighth inning off Nic Pierick to make it 8-0.