A dozen on the diamond

A+dozen+on+the+diamond

April 8, 2015 By Emily Leclair

The UW-Whitewater baseball team continues a 12-game winning streak at its home opener with a four-game sweep of the UW-Superior Yellow Jackets in back-to-back double headers. The ’Hawks beat Superior on April 2, 9-1 and 7-2 and completed the series on April 3, 6-5 and 10-0. UW-W is 4-0 in conference and 14-1 overall.

“We’ve started to play better overall games,” head coach John Vodenlich said. “There’s been times where we’ve hit well, played defense well, and pitched well, but never all together.”

Pierce recorded his first-ever multiple home run game on April 2 in the doubleheader. Two came in the first game and one was added in the second.

Freshman Lake Bachar pitched seven solid innings in the first game, allowing one run, five hits and striking out five. Sophomore John Olejniczak earned his first save with allowing no hits in two innings of relief.

“Our young guys are starting to get some of the experience that they need and are starting to look more comfortable out there,” Vodenlich said.

Pierce tied his career high with five runs batted in and led the ’Hawks with three hits along with senior Casey Power and senior Mike Mierow. Freshman Dayton Bryden added two hits and scored two runs.

The Yellowjackets scored its only runs in the first-inning, but the ’Hawks took the lead for good in the bottom of the inning with Pierce’s first two-run home run of the day.

Pierce added his second two-run home run in the bottom of the eighth inning to finalize the win.

In the second game, freshman Heath Renz earned his first win of the season striking out eight over seven innings. Senior Andrew Lowe threw two scoreless innings in relief.

Pierce, Power and sophomore Steve Chamberlain recorded two hits apiece to lead the ’Hawks.

Pierce had his third two-run home run of the day in the bottom of the sixth inning to make the score 5-2.

Chamberlain and Pierce scored in the bottom of the seventh innings to finalize the win for UW-W.

UW-W continued its sweep on April 3. Junior Curtis Morgan earned his second win of the season pitching five and one-third innings. Sophomore Mike Nompleggi recorded his third save of the year to earn the win for the ’Hawks.

Chamberlain led UW-W’s offense with three hits and three RBI’s.

The Yellowjackets threatened to take the lead in the top of the fifth and sixth innings and again in the eighth and ninth.

Chamberlain drove in a run to give UW-W a one-run lead to win 6-5.

The ’Hawks came back from a close game to end the series with a seven inning shutout 10-0.

“We didn’t have any sense of urgency,” Pierce said. “We didn’t come out and play our kind of baseball which is what we came out to do in the second game.”

Senior Colin Grove pitched a six-inning shutout to improve to 4-0 for the season. Sophomore Matt Langlie pitched one scoreless inning to complete the game.

The score was set in the bottom of the seventh inning when Pierce hit a bases-loaded single to drive in the tenth run. The game was called due to run rule.

“When you play one team four times, a lot of things can happen,” Vodenlich said. “For me, that last game was a cultivating event, and fortunately we played well.”

The ’Hawks will play UW-Oshkosh on the road at 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. on April 7.

This is UW-W’s first conference road game of the season. Though the team is currently undefeated, it still looks to improve.

“I think we need to start having a little bit better approach at the plate,” Pierce said. “I think that’s one of the big things that will help us, just a little bit different approach attacking early in counts and being able to jump on fastballs.”

 

 

 

 

 

Print Friendly, PDF & Email