APPLETON, Wis. — Chris Haddeland threw a complete game in the biggest start of his life and No. 1 Linfield scored four runs in the fourth inning en route to a 4-1 victory over Southern Maine in the championship game of the NCAA Division III Finals Tuesday evening at Fox Cities Stadium.
Linfield (42-8) captured its third national championship in baseball — but first in the NCAA era — adding to NAIA titles in 1966 and 1971. It marked Linfield’s ninth national title in a team sport and second in three years, counting the Wildcat softball team’s 2011 title run.
Haddeland allowed one run on eight hits with three walks and five strikeouts en route to his school-record 15th pitching victory of the season. A perfectly executed squeeze bunt from Kyle Chamberlain highlighted a four-run fourth inning that proved to be the deciding play in the final game of the tournament.
“It’s so nice having a pitcher like Chris,” said left fielder and co-team captain Tim Wilson (Jr., Redmond, Wash.). “When we put up that four spot we knew that’s pretty much all we had to put up and Chris was just going to go up and shut them out.”
After throwing 12 innings earlier Tuesday against Ithaca for the right to challenge Linfield for the national title, Andrew Richards started for Southern Maine (46-10) and threw 3 1/3 innings before turning the ball over to Logan Carman to toss the final 4 2/3.