Chamberlain saves the day for UW-W

John Paul Czerwinski, Assistant Sports Editor

The No. 3 ranked Warhawks opened the week with a win, but the team couldn’t keep their undefeated WIAC season going. The ‘Hawks dropped two games against UW- Steven’s Point in back-to-back doubleheaders on April 22 and 23.
The star of the week for the ’Hawks was senior second baseman Steve Chamberlain. Chamberlain hit a clutch go-ahead grand slam in the top of the eighth with two outs in the final game of the four-game set against the Pointers to save the ’Hawks from losing the series.
“It was the best moment of my baseball career and I will never forget it,” Chamberlain said. “I was down 0-2 in the count and the pitcher totally made me look silly on the last curveball. They had been aggressive with two strikes the whole day, so I figured he was going to come back aggressive with the same pitch.”
Chamberlain guessed right, the opposing pitcher was indeed aggressive and threw him the exact same pitch.
“I took a really wide stance because I knew I had to be defensive down 0-2, and had to swing a lot more with my arms. [The pitcher] ended up coming back at me with the same pitch, and he hung his curveball and I hit it well. I knew the ball was going to be gone, but I just couldn’t convince myself that it was actually happening, I was in shock, so I really had no initial celebration.”
Chamberlain’s home run put the ’Hawks up 10-7 in the top of the eighth, and secured the victory for the ’Hawks to split with the Pointers for the four game series 2-2.
To start the week the ’Hawks bats were smoking hot against MSOE in a non-conference battle on April 18. The ’Hawks totalled 16 hits, including eight home runs in route to a comfortable 21-4 victory. Chamberlain, along with junior outfielder Brett Krause hit two home runs each in the ’Hawks first victory of the week.
The ’Hawks then headed into UW-Steven’s Point at a perfect 8-0 in WIAC play. The ’Hawks split the first doubleheader on April 22, losing the first contest 4-3.
The ’Hawks were in control leading 3-0 after getting two runs in the top of the fifth. Then senior pitcher Austin Jones gave up four runs in the sixth, after five innings of scoreless ball. The Pointers handed Jones his first loss of the season.
The ’Hawks bounced back in the second contest behind a great performance on the hill from junior pitcher Heath Renz. Renz pitched eight innings on the day only giving up one earned run on four hits. Renz picked up his fifth win of the season to remain a perfect 5-0.
In the third game of the series the ’Hawks fell to the Pointers 6-3. The ’Hawks took the lead in the top of the eighth 3-2, but then the Pointers stuck right back in the bottom of the eighth with a big inning scoring four runs.
Pitcher Westin Wuethrich struggled in the eighth after giving up two runs with only one out. The Pointers tacked on two more in the inning to secure the 6-3 victory. Wuethrich pitched 7 ⅓ and gave up four runs with ten strikeouts in his first loss of the season.
“We missed a lot of opportunities this weekend,” senior pitcher Ankur Shah said. “We had the bases loaded with no outs in the first inning of the third game and came away with nothing. We also had runners on first and third with nobody out and didn’t capitalize and score any runs, that’s baseball sometimes though.”
The ’Hawks pitchers were not their usual selves on the weekend, struggling to record outs.
The ’Hawks gave up four or more runs in three of the four games.
“Our pitching wasn’t as good this weekend as it has been all year,” Shah said. “Our pitching has been lights out all year and as a staff we didn’t have our best stuff this weekend, including myself. Our pitching struggles were a big reason for the losses.”
After the weekend the ’Hawks remain first in the WIAC with a record of 10-2. The ’Hawks pitching staff hopes to get back on track at home as they take on UW-Platteville in a four game series on April 29 and 30.