— TLU Bulldogs (@tluathletics) May 27, 2018
Drama led the way at the NCAA Division III World Series on Sunday afternoon.
But exhaustion wasn’t far behind.
In the end, the Texas Lutheran University Bulldogs celebrated a 3-2 victory in 13 innings over Swarthmore, Pa., in Appleton, Wis.
Riley Schaefer ripped an RBI single in the top of the 13th to give the Bulldogs the lead.
Drew Waller came out of the bullpen to get the final two outs in the bottom half, as TLU advanced to play Concordia Chicago tonight in the national semifinals.
TLU will need to beat Concordia twice to advance to the championship round.
Finding a rhythm at the plate
Schaefer earned redemption in the 13th when he singled to left field, driving in Andrew Whitten from third with the winning run.
In the 11th inning, he laced a one-out single into the gap in right center, but in trying to stretch it into a double, he was thrown out.
Schaefer collected three hits in seven at bats Sunday.
Coming into the game, TLU’s batting average leader was zero for seven in the World Series.
After breaking out against Swarthmore, he’s now hitting .420 in 50 games this season.
Playing a role off the bench
Andrew Whitten entered the game in the fifth inning as a pinch hitter for Matthew Lemon.
In extra innings, he helped win the game for TLU with his defensive savvy, his throwing arm and his bat.
His dramatics started when Swarthmore’s Matt Palmer hit a ball off the left field wall to lead off the bottom of the 12th.
Whitten played the carom, turned and threw a one-hopper to second base to get Palmer for the first out.
In the top of the 13th, he led off with a double and advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt.
Whitten scored the winning run on Schaefer’s single off Swarthore reliever Jack Corkery.
Texas Lutheran 40-10
Swarthmore, Pa. 38-11
— TLU Bulldogs (@tluathletics) May 28, 2018