Wall sacrifices body to help team win 13-inning playoff thriller
A heads-up defensive play by Juneau’s Philip Wall helped save the University of Northwestern baseball team’s season.
It was a wild 13-inning game with a walk-off finish as the Northwestern beat Misericordia 7-6 in the NCAA D3 Midwest Regional semifinals in St. Paul, Minnesota.
Wall started at first base and batted 1-for-5 with a run and sacrifice bunt.
But it was the senior’s defense that drew the most attention. With the bases loaded and two outs in the top of the 13th inning, Wall made an acrobatic grab on an errant throw from the shortstop and somehow got the tag on the runner to keep the game tied and save a run.
Wall was hurt on the play and wasn’t able to take his at-bat in the bottom half of the 13th inning, but he was still connected to the winning play. Northwestern scored the go-ahead run on a sac fly by Ben Spores, who came into the game as a pinch-hitter for Wall.
The Alaskan did not play in the Midwest Regional final as Northwestern lost 3-2 to Johns Hopkins, which advanced to the D3 World Series.
Wall capped his college career as one of the best pitcher-hitter combos from The Last Frontier. He was a 16-game winner on the mound and hit .300 for his career.
Wall showcased his two-way skills at the Upper Midwest Athletic Conference Tournament when he pitched a 9-inning complete game one day and crushed his first home run the next day.
He threw a career-high 75.1 innings this season, the sixth most in a single season in school history. He also moved into the No. 5 spot on Northwestern’s all-time list with 218.1 career innings.