They entered the program as a .500 team. They left it as two-time world series qualifiers.
Ten seniors walked off the field for the final time Sunday following UW-L's 8-3 loss to SUNY Cortland at the NCAA DIII Championship in Appleton. In the past four years, the Eagles have won 122 games, a Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Association regular season and tournament title, and two NCAA Midwest Region titles in addition to establishing numerous single-season records.
"To me it's not about doubles and home runs and RBI and all that kind of stuff, it's what they've given to us, how they carry themselves every single day, that's what I'm most proud of," head coach Chris Schwarz said. "Everything they've accomplished over the last four, five years and the tradition they've handed down to these younger players, it's tough to measure. It's just outstanding what they've given this program."
Alex Cordova, Taylor Kohlwey and Justin Anderson started all 49 games this season. Kohlwey hit .485 with nine home runs, 57 RBI, and a 51-game hit streak, the second-longest in division 3 history.
Anderson hit .457 with 12 home runs and a school-record 83 RBI.
Cordova hit .381 with 15 doubles and 40 RBI.
Travis Buxton-Verstegen played in 45 games, Ben Morgan played in 41 games, and Seth Helden played in 19 games.
On the mound, Troy Kenkel went 9-2 with a 2.90 ERA in 13 starts, while Logan Mallek went 3-0 with a 1.76 ERA in 14 games as a reliever.
"There's just a lot of love between everybody, there was just unbelievable chemistry and hopefully we can pass that on to all the other guys, the younger guys, and they can start a tradition of good baseball in La Crosse," Anderson said.
"It feels amazing looking back," Kohlwey added. "The program was almost cut, and look where it is now, back to back years (at the world series). It's just amazing."