Southern Indiana overcomes early three-run deficit to beat Minnesota St.

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CARY, N.C. — Southern Indiana rallied from a three-run deficit to defeat second-ranked Minnesota State-Mankato 4-3 and advance to the NCAA Division II national championship game at the USA Baseball National Training Center. USI sees its record rise to 48-13, while MSU concludes its season 48-11.

The Screaming Eagles play Colorado Mesa in the national championship game Saturday at 7 p.m.

ET. USI will be making its second appearance in the NCAA II championship game, having won the title in 2010.

After spotting the Mavericks a 3-0 lead in the first inning, the Eagles rallied with four-runs in the fourth to take a 4-3 lead. The four runs would be all USI would need for the victory.

USI senior designated hitter Brent Weinzapfel and sophomore catcher Ryan Bertram started the rally with a pair of one-out singles. Weinzapfel would score the Eagles’ first run of the game on a single by senior third baseman Matt Bowles.

DII BASEBALL CHAMPIONSHIP
Southern Indiana wins titleBoxHighlights
Houston: A night to remember in Cary
Day 7 Recap
Houston: Four teams battle for two spots
Houston: SIU makes most of core group from Evansville
Day 6 Recap
Houston: Peterson leads Mankato after spurning hockey
Houston: Tampa continues tradition of jokes and causes
Day 5 Recap
Houston: Lander’s miracle kids
Houston: Eickoff making most of chance for So. Indiana
Day 4 Recap
Houston: Tampa has huge heart, not just for baseball
Houston: Mankato’s Larson copes with loss of wife
Day 3 Recap
Houston: Meet Chico State’s hit by pitch king
Houston: STAC pitcher skips championship for boot camp
Day 2 Recap
Houston: Seton Hill’s McCarthy has new love for game
Day 1 Recap
Houston: Colo. Mesa’s Kaiser survives, then thrives
Houston: Tampa looks to put cap on special season
How they got here: Regional Results
Postseason Statistics
Brackets: InteractivePrintable

Bertram, who advanced to third on a fielder’s choice by sophomore centerfielder Hamilton Carr, would cross the plate with USI’s second run on a perfectly executed double steal and cut the deficit to 3-2. Bertram finished the game with a team-high two hits, his first two of the national finals.

After senior leftfielder Brad Wannemuehler walked on six pitches, USI took the lead 4-3 when Carr scored on a single through the left side by senior second baseman Caleb Eickhoff and Wannemuehler dashed across the plate on an error by the MSU leftfielder.

On the mound, senior right-hander David Toth weathered a rough first inning and won his sixth game of the season. Toth (6-1) allowed three runs on seven hits and a walk, while striking out five in 5.1 innings of work.

Junior right-hander Andrew Mercer got the Eagles out of a jam in the sixth and pitched 2.1 scoreless innings before giving way to junior shortstop/closer Matt Chavarria. Chavarria got the final four outs to earn his 14th save of the year.

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