Warhawks roll despite loss

By Kyle Weaver

April 13, 2016

Coming into the weekend with a perfect record, the UW-Whitewater baseball team suffered its first defeat of the season, but won three out of four games against rival UW-Stevens Point.

“Teams lose in baseball and we didn’t play well and we lost,” senior Dane Burman said. “It’s definitely not going to be a detriment to the season by losing one game as long as we continue to play good baseball.”

The ’Hawks came into the weekend as the only undefeated team in NCAA Division III baseball until losing 8-3 in the opening game on Saturday. UW-Whitewater won the remaining three games to bring their record to 14-1 overall and 3-1 in the WIAC.

“We don’t believe that we played great, we still have something to work for,” head coach John Vodenlich said. “We played well enough to win, and if we can continue that we can go from being a good team to a great team.”

In game one of a double-header on Saturday, the ’Hawks committed three throwing errors which allowed three Stevens Point runners to score. Sophomore pitcher Lake Bachar [4-1] took his first loss of the season. Bachar pitched eight innings, allowing four hits and one earned run with 10 strikeouts. Stevens Point added four runs in the eighth and ninth innings to put the game out of reach.

In the second game, the Warhawks answered back with a 6-1 victory. Burman and freshman third baseman Cal Aldridge combined for four RBIs to lead the ’Hawks’ offense. Senior pitcher Curtis Morgan [3-0] went eight innings with one earned run on three hits and eight strikeouts.

The ’Hawks picked up two more wins in a doubleheader on Sunday. UW-Whitewater took the first game 12-6, fueled by three home runs and a seven-run seventh inning.  Sophomore outfielder Austin Jones set the tone with a three-run home run in the first inning. Sophomore first baseman Blake Fleischman hit a solo home run in the third and Burman added a two-run homer in the seventh. Whitewater used four pitchers in the game and senior Connor Hurst [2-0] picked up the victory with two and a third innings pitched with one earned run and one strikeout.

“Extra base hits wins ball games so that was good to see,” Burman said. “That really helped us jump ahead on the scoreboard and get us rolling.”

Whitewater capped the doubleheader and the series with a 7-1 victory. Fleischman went two for four at the plate with three RBIs to lead the Warhawks. Junior infielder Steve Chamberlain went 2 for 5 with two RBIs. Junior Ankur Shah [2-0] pitched six shutout innings, allowing six hits and striking out three batters.

Vodenlich said he was pleased with the team’s response after the opening loss but wasn’t happy with the team’s performance in the first contest.

“We’ll look back at that first game as a disappointment,” Vodenlich said. “We had Lake Bachar who is one of the best pitchers in the nation pitching, if we play defense behind him we win that game as well.”

Burman credits the hard work of the pitching staff as one of the reasons why the team has been successful so far this season.

“Our pitching up to this point has been lights-out,” Burman said. “They haven’t given up a lot of walks and that makes for quicker innings and lets us hit.”

UW-Whitewater was scheduled to play two games against St. Norbert College on April 5 but the games were postponed. A rescheduled time has yet to be announced.

The Warhawks will play a doubleheader against Concordia University Chicago at 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. on April 13 in Whitewater.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email