The Ripon College baseball team was in the driver’s seat to capture its 22nd Midwest Conference Championship last weekend.

   It won its first two games last week Friday to put itself in the championship game and give itself two chances to win the tournament.

   And through five innings last week Saturday, it appeared like the second game wouldn’t be needed.

   The Red Hawks led Cornell, which was playing in its third-straight elimination game in the double-elimination tournament, 7-3 entering the top of the sixth inning.

   That was when it all started to go downhill for Ripon, and fast.

    The Rams scored 11 runs in the inning to take a 14-7 lead and added seven more runs in the final three innings to record a 21-13 victory and force a winner-takes-all game.

   That game didn’t go much better for Ripon (24-18 overall) as it fell behind Cornell (26-17 overall) 8-0 after four innings and lost 8-2.

   “We didn’t pitch,” Ripon head coach Eric Cruise said of his team’s first loss to Cornell. “The wind was blowing out, so we’re playing a little deeper. They would square a ball up, hit a gap. Then we would make a great pitch and they would flare one in front of us. It was just one of those things where nothing can go right, and that happens. I don’t know if it was 11 runs happened type of thing, but that stuff happens. And sometimes you just shake your head and you just go, ‘Is this really happening?’”

Read the full story in the May 16. 2019 edition of the Ripon Commonwealth Press.