Call it one for the thumb, thanks to Portage’s Lucas Sullivan and Crown Point’s Matt Wielgus.
The Duneland Conference duo and Marian University track standouts helped the program to its fifth straight Crossroads League Championship Friday night.
The Knights edged out Indiana Wesleyan and Bethel for the crown.
With the team trailing after the first day of competition, Sullivan came up huge by winning the 5,000 meters by 13 seconds, while Wielgus was fourth in the steeplechase.
Sullivan also finished third in the 10,000 meters.
The Knights have one last meet before heading to the NAIA Nationals in Gulf Shores, Alabama, on May 24.
Carthage’s Matt Meneghetti (Lake Central) fired a 69 on Saturday to lead all players on the way to the 2018 College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin Men’s Golf Individual Championship in Joliet.
The senior standout shot a four-round score of 289 as Carthage took runner-up honors to Illinois Wesleyan. Meneghetti’s 69 included an eagle on the par-five second hole and two birdies. He had only one bogey against 14 pars on Saturday.
• Bradley will make its first NCAA postseason appearance since 1955 when it heads to Bryan, Texas for NCAA Regional play May 14-16.
Matthew Specht (Munster) is a senior on the team and helped the Braves to their first Missouri Valley Conference Championship on April 24.
Bradley is among 81 teams and 45 individuals competing at six NCAA Regional sites. The top five teams from each regional along with the top six individuals will advance to the NCAA National Championship May 25-30 in Stillwater, Okla.
Frank Podkul (Andrean) had two hits, including a homer and four RBIs, but red-hot Franklin College had its winning streak snapped at 13 in a 19-18 slugfest loss to Otterbein. Alex Mis (Munster) added a hit and scored twice for the Grizzlies (33-3). The team is ranked No. 14 in the latest D3baseball.com poll and is 15-1 in the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference.
Podkul is hitting .316 with 44 RBIs and is tied for the team high with 11 homers.
Mis is batting .376 with 18 RBIs, while staff ace Christian Sullivan (Lake Central) is a perfect 6-0 on the season with team-best stats of a 2.85 ERA with 66 strikeouts in 66 innings pitched.
• Saint Leo University’s Amir Wright (Griffith) is first on the team with 44 runs scored and second with 10 stolen bases. Wright is batting .329 in 42 starts with six doubles and 31 RBIs. The team is 34-9 on the season and ranked in the top 25 in the NCAA Division II poll.
• Tulane’s Kody Hoese (Griffith) hit two homers as the team beat Southern Miss 10-7. The sophomore infielder is hitting .309 in 46 starts with nine doubles, five homers, and 29 RBIs.
Manchester University’s Laurren Ladwig (Lake Central) was honored for the fourth time this season as the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference’s Athlete of the Week.
The senior slugger added to her record-setting campaign by going an incredible 10-for-14 with five runs scored, four doubles, three homers, and nine RBIs. Ladwig helped the Spartans to their first conference tournament berth since 2015 and helped them go 2-2 on the week. She tallied a 1.643 slugging percentage to go with a .763 on-base percentage and was perfect in the field with 14 putouts and three assists.
Ladwig continues to lead the conference in homers (19) and RBIs (44). She’s also among the leaders with a team-high .468 batting average. She’s also the NCAA Division III single-season home runs leader.
• Aurora University’s Stephanie Renner (Crown Point) led the Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference in earned-run average (1.72), walks allowed (10), and innings pitched (102). The freshman also has a team-best 10 wins on the bump.
• Prairie State’s Sidney Hero (Griffith) was named a First-Team All-Region IV selection and All-American nominee. She tops the NJCAA with 93 hits and is seventh in batting average (.531). The sophomore shortstop is also second in stolen bases (67) and fourth in triples (nine). The team is 40-8 on the season.
Indiana Tech (12-2) advanced to the NAIA National Invitational May 10-12 in Grand Rapids, Mich. The Warriors have Crown Point products Brandon Phipps (20 goals, 22 points) and goalkeeper Joe Dosen (3-0 record) on the team.
Tech earned an at-large bid to the NAIA National Invitational as the third seed. The Warriors open play in the quarterfinals on Thursday.
• Wilmington (Ohio) College’s Jake Ladendorf (Crown Point) had 11 saves as the team beat Muskingum 16-9 in the season finale. The senior played every single minute between the pipes for the squad.
Women’s track and field
Marian University’s Sarah Wieser (Lowell) was fourth in the 10,000 meters and 11th in the 5,000 meters as the Knights finished third overall at the Crossroads League Championships.