Warhawks outslug Blue Devils in sweep

Erika Marion, Assistant Sports Editor

The No. 23 ranked Warhawk baseball team won their ninth  out of the past 10 games April 13 by winning both games over UW- Stout at Prucha Field at James B. Miller Stadium.

In the first game, the Warhawks were victorious 11-9 and won 4-3 in game two.

UW-W improves to 14-6 overall and 7-1 in the WIAC.

Senior pitcher Michael Kaska pitched eight innings and struck out five batters. Although he allowed nine runs on 12 hits, the Warhawk offense outplayed the Blue Devils just a little more, allowng Kaska to improve to 3-2 on the season.

“Today was a tough weather day,” said head coach John Vodenlich. “We were able to grind through it and come out victorious.”

In game one, the Warhawks were led by sophomore shortstop Nick Santoro, who had three hits. One of his hits included one of the four home runs  throughout the first meeting, and added three runs scored and two runs batted in.

Senior second baseman Nick Schrader also had three hits, including a home run, two runs scored and three RBIs.

“We will continue to keep things moving forward by taking each game one step at a time,” said Schrader. “We’ve been focusing on not looking too far ahead, but instead focusing on what is right ahead of us for that upcoming week.”

Senior catcher Mike Aiello finished with two hits, including one home run, two scored and two RBIs.

“We’re going to keep taking it one series at a time,” said Santoro. “Our pitchers have been doing a great job keeping us in games every week and we’ve been finding ways to manufacture some runs offensively and because of that we’ve been successful so far in conference. We want to keep that rolling and try to win every series we play this year.”

Sophomore designated hitter Connor Moroder hit a solo home run and freshman left fielder Matt Korman added two hits, including one triple and one RBI.

In between the two games, members of the 2014 national championship team were recognized in celebration of the fifth anniversary of the program’s second NCAA III title.

“Seeing the 2014 team getting recognized is obviously a huge motivation for us,” said Santoro. “Winning the championship is the biggest goal while playing for this program every year and we all hope to be in the same position as those guys one day.”

The Warhawks won 19 of their last 20 games that season, including winning the WIAC championship, regional title and Division III World Series Championship.

“It was great to see all those guys, as well as be there to honor them again,” said Schrader. “They brought a great, positive vibe to the field on Saturday, which wore off on the guys in the clubhouse. Seeing them out on the field smiling and still together five years after they played was awesome. That is definitely where we want to be, but we know we need to keep working hard and continue to progress each day.”

In the second game, sophomore pitcher Matt O’ Sullivan threw a complete game, allowing only two earned runs while striking out nine without a walk over nine innings. He improved to 3-2 on the season.

The Blue Devils took a 2-0 lead in the first and second innings, but the Warhawks answered right back on an RBI double by sophomore right fielder Bryan Sturdevant and a single by junior centerfielder Noah Jensen, who had the tying run in that inning.

UW- Stout tied it at three apiece  in the top of the sixth before Santoro hit a sacrifice fly to right fueld to give the Warhawks the lead for the rest of the game.

The second doubleheader that was scheduled for Sunday was postponed due to inclement weather and play will resume on Monday at Prucha Field at James B. Miller Stadium.