Nelson homers three times, UW-Stevens Point baseball advances to Super Regional
For the Gazette
The No. 15-ranked UW-Stevens Point baseball team (32-12) is headed back to the NCAA Tournament Super Regionals after knocking off Webster (33-16) in game seven of the NCAA Tournament Regionals, 11-5.
The Gorloks forced a winner-take-all game seven by winning Sunday’s (May 22) opening game over UW-Stevens Point, 10-4.
The Pointers will face a familiar foe in UW-La Crosse in the Super Regionals, with game locations to be announced later.
Senior Payton Nelson (Wausau) belted three home runs on the day, two in the decisive game seven. He drove in five on the day.
Trent Van Ess (Two Rivers) also homered twice in game seven. He had three RBIs and scored four runs.
Anthony Tomczak (Muskego) had three hits on the day. He scored a run in each game and drove in one in game two.
Logan Homolka (Marshfield) had two hits and two RBIs in the first game.
Game 1 – UW-Stevens Point 4, Webster 10
Webster scored three times in the top of the first on three singles and a UW-Stevens Point error.
With one down in the third inning, Nelson hit his first home run of the day, a solo shot to left.
In the fourth, Kamden Oliver (Viroqua) hit a leadoff single.
He moved to second on a groundout and scored on a double by Tomczak as UW-Stevens Point got within one, 3-2.
The Gorloks scored twice in the fifth and added another in the sixth to go up 6-2.
Webster added three runs in the seventh and one more in the eighth to take a 10-2 lead.
Tomczak and Homolka hit back-to-back doubles to begin the bottom of the ninth.
Quin Henwood (Appleton) singled to plate another, but UW-Stevens Point couldn’t get any more runs across in the 10-4 defeat.
Nick Paulsen (Balsam Lake) suffered his first loss of the season. He went six innings with five strikeouts and just two earned runs.
Game 2 – UW-Stevens Point 11, Webster 5
Nelson needed just two pitches to put the Pointers in front in game two.
He belted a solo home run with one down in the top of the first to give the Pointers a 1-0 lead.
Tomczak singled to start the second. Homolka and Van Ess each drew walks to load the bases with one out.
Jakob Boos (Littleton, Colo.) singled to push home two runs.
Nelson plated another with a sac fly, and UW-Stevens Point went ahead 4-0.
Comer walked to begin the third. He was replaced at first on a fielder’s choice by Brenden Canterbury (Waupaca).
He scored from first on a double by Tomczak to increase the lead to 5-0.
After Webster got on the board in the third, Henwood singled to lead off the fourth.
Van Ess followed and blasted a two-run home run to give UW-Stevens Point a 7-1 lead.
In the sixth, Van Ess drew a leadoff walk.
Two batters later, Nelson belted his third home run of the day to make it 9-4.
The Gorloks got one run in the bottom of the sixth on three hits and an error.
Van Ess got the run back in the seventh on a two-out solo home run.
The Pointers and UW-La Crosse will play a best-of-three Super Regional round on Friday, May 26, and Saturday, May 27, with the winner advancing to the College World Series.