The UW-Stout track and field team had competitors at both the UW-La Crosse Eagle Open and at the Dr. Keeler Invitational at North Central College in Naperville, Ill., Friday and Blue Devil pole vaulters stole the show in La Crosse as Noah Zastrow and Heather Beecher both improved their national lot by hitting personal bests.
Zastrow became only the fourth Blue Devil to clear 17-0 feet when he placed first in the event at La Crosse. With the mark, Zastrow currently has the second best height in Division III. Zastrow did attempt to break Daniel Drewek’s school record of 17-5 by attempting 17-5.50, but did not clear the bar.
Beecher made a drastic climb up the Division III ladder on the women’s side. A week after winning the WIAC pole vault title, Beecher cleared 12-6 to win the event at La Crosse. The mark was a personal-best by almost three inches, but more importantly Beecher jumped from 32nd in Division III in the event into the top 10. Beecher is only the third female Stout pole vaulter to clear 12-6.
Tymesia McFadden won the 100-meter dash at La Crosse in a time of 12.44 seconds. Aleksandr Ilyushev won the 5000-meter run in a time of 15.13.29.
Shanna Laehn finished fourth in the 100-hurdles at the Dr. Keeler invite in a personal-best time of 14.50. Laehn came into the meet 27th nationally and the new mark will move her into the top 15.
Blue Devils fall in WIAC tourney
UW-Stout’s season came to an end in a place they hadn’t been to in five years—the WIAC Championship tournament. The Blue Devils dropped the first game, 6-1, to host UW-Whitewater, then fell 5-2 to third-seeded UW-Platteville in their second game Friday on Prucha Field at Miller Stadium on the UW-Whitewater campus.
The Pioneers (20-20) drew first blood in the elimination game, when No. 9 hitter Logan Kozak delivered a one-out, two-run single, scoring Brennan Kearney and Curtis Barsness. Kearney got on with a single, then moved to third on Barsness’ double. Mitchell Susa drove in a run in the third to make the score 3-0.
The Pioneers held Stout (20-17) hitless for the first three innings, but the Blue Devils’ bats showed some life in the fourth inning with hits by Kasey Bass and Joel Thimsen, although the goose egg stayed on the scoreboard when the pair were stranded. The Pioneers took a 4-0 lead in the bottom of the fourth and added another in the bottom of the sixth inning.
The Blue Devils finally got on the board in the eighth inning when Jordan Wilson led off the inning with a solo home run. Thimsen hit a one-out double and came home on Hunter Merrill’s single to center field and Stout trailed 5-2.
The Pioneers got a lead-off hit in the eighth by Kearny, who was moved to second on a sacrifice bunt and to third on a groundout, but reliever Casey Ryan forced a pop-up to end the threat.
The Blue Devils made some noise in the ninth and had the potential tying run at the plate. Following a lead-off groundout, Caleb Hurt chipped a ball into left field for a single, then moved to second when Charlie Szykowny sent a ball into right field over the outstretched second baseman. Senior Jordan Wilson came to the plate and hit a screamer to third base, but the Pioneers’ Susa turned the 5-3 double play to end the Blue Devils’ season.
Thimsen, who was 4-for-8 on the day, was 3-for-4 to lead Stout against Platteville and Kasey Bass was 2-for-4. The Pioneers’ Josh Moses and Brennan Kearney were both 3-for-4. Barsness was 2-for-3 and Kozak was 2-for-4.
Jack Donahue absorbed the loss, striking out four. Platteville’s Tyler Vogel earned the win, striking out nine. The Pioneers will play the loser of the Whitewater/La Crosse game Saturday.
In the opener, the Blue Devils were held scoreless until the ninth inning when they put together a mini-rally, pounding out three of their total six hits in the inning.
Jared Jarvensivu lifted a one-out single to center field. Following a second out, Bass moved Jarvensivu to second when he sliced a single between first and second. Javensivu came home on Merrill’s ground rule double, but that would be it for the Blue Devils.
The top-seeded Warhawks rapped out 13 hits for the game, including three hits in the first inning. But Blue Devil starter Brad Rindfleisch got out of a bases-loaded jam by forcing a third-out fly-out.
The Warhawks got to Rindfleisch in the third inning, scoring three runs on four hits. Rindfleisch stranded two runners in the inning. The Warhawks left two more on base in the fourth, but worked a run on a sacrifice fly by Cal Aldridge. Two Stout errors led to the Warhawks’ final two runs of the game in the sixth inning. Whitewater stranded 13 runners throughout the game, while Stout left five runners on base.
In addition to the ninth inning, Stout left a single runner on in the fourth and two runners in the sixth.
Jordan Wilson had two of Stout’s six total hits. Noah Jensen led Whitewater, going 3-for-5. Nick Santoro, Nick Schrader and Mike Aiello each had two hits for the Warhawks.
Rindfleisch worked seven innings, giving up four earned runs. Rindfleisch struck out six to run his career strikeout total to 101. Westin Muir went seven inning to get the win, striking out nine. Nick Rietz worked one inning and got a strikeout and Evan Sigmund finished the game with two strikeouts to run the total to 12.