St. Thomas shocks Linfield
By DENNIS C. WILSON
For the News-Register
It was not the start that Scott Brosius and the Linfield Wildcats were looking for.
Coming in as the defending champions, the Wildcats were quickly shown that this is not 2013. The St. Thomas (Minn.) Tommies scored five runs off of Division III Pitcher of the Year Chris Haddeland in the first inning and never looked back, posting a 10-0 victory over the Wildcats in game one of the 2014 Division III College World Series in Appleton, WI.
“It certainly not the way we scripted this thing out. I mean you start No 1, and you have to give credit to the other team. They did everything we didn’t do today,” said Linfield manager Scott Brosius. “They pitched it extremely well. He kept us off balance and we were defensive at the plate. We didn’t make some the plays defensively that we should have made. But that is how the game goes some times. You plan one thing, but it doesn’t always go that way.”
The Wildcats ran into a buzz saw in the form of right handed starting pitcher Eric Veglahn. 8-0 on the season, Veglahn took a perfect game into the seventh inning before a texas leaguer from catcher Jake Wylie found grass in the seventh inning. Veglahn gave up one more hit in the ninth inning.
“It was one of the better pitched games I have seen in quite a while,” said St. Thomas manager Chris Olean. “Coming into that situation with Linfield being as good as they are and seeing a pitcher we haven’t really seen before who happens to be the two time Pitcher of the Year. For him to step up and throw that way was pretty unbelievable.”
With Veglahn’s great game notwithstanding, the biggest surprise for the Wildcats was the ineffectiveness of Haddeland. The junior right hander was touched up early by the Tommies, and his early came struggles were aided by the fact that the usually stalwart defense of the Wildcats stumbled. Linfield had three errors in that first innings, with two attributed to first baseman Clayton Truex, which led to the Tommies taking a 5-0 lead.
“I felt great in warm-ups, but I just couldn’t piece it together today and unfortunately it had to come in our first round match up,” Haddeland said. “But, we only have one loss, and we have a chance to come back and get a win tomorrow.”
With the kind of game that Veglahn had, those five runs would be all he needed.
“As a pitcher, you really can’t ask for much more than that,” the senior said. “At that point, all you really need to do is throw strikes and hit your spots and you are going to have success.”
With the loss, the Wildcats will face Emory University of Georgia in the first elimination game of the series. Game time will be 10am CST.