Baseball squad wins 13th in a row

Tyler Job, Sports Editor

The No. 18 Warhawk baseball team seems unstoppable right now.

UW-Whitewater won its 13th consecutive game by toppling St. Norbert College by an 11-1 score at Prucha Field and James Miller Stadium April 24.

The Warhawks improve to 23-6 overall and stand at 15-1 conference thanks to a doubleheader sweep of UW-Platteville the day prior.

“I like their attitude, I like how their showing up to work every day, and they’re coming together,” head coach John Vodenlich said. “I like their direction.”

UW-W opened up the scoring on an RBI double to left center by senior third baseman Cal Aldridge in the first inning.

The score remained 1-0 until the Warhawks blew the game open in the third by adding on five more runs. Sophomore second baseman Nick Santoro tripled to right center for an RBI to put the Warhawks up 2-0. Senior second baseman Nick Schrader then followed up with a single to left center that scored Santoro.

Santoro then led off the fourth with a solo homer to left.

But Schrader perhaps had the top highlight of the game by hitting an inside-the-park home run after Santoro’s solo shot. By that point, Whitewater had a comfortable 8-0 lead.

“I felt for sure Coach [Vodenlich] was gonna hit the brakes at third and I saw him wave at me,” Schrader said. “I definitely had to put on a little extra to try and get home.”

Outfielder Lucas Reynolds finally got St. Norbert on the board in the top of the fifth on an RBI triple to right center, but the Warhawks were ahead by eight at that point.

UW-W added its last two runs in the sixth on a sac fly by Aldridge and an RBI groundout by freshman catcher Ryan Norton.

Junior reliever Keith Kutzler did not allow St. Norbert to score in the seventh, thus ending the game via run rule.

“The energy has been better,” Schrader said. “It starts with guys here at the clubhouse three hours before the game. At the beginning of the year, there would be a couple guys here and there, and now it’s almost the full team is here a couple hours early. We’re meshing really well as a team, which is one thing we struggled with a little bit at the beginning.”

Sophomore right-hander Connor Spear improved to 5-0 on just one hit while striking out four through three innings of work. Relievers Riley Gruetzmacher, Hayden Fox and Kutzler combined for four hits allowed and seven punch outs through the final four innings.

“We’re just making it simple,” sophomore pitcher Matt O’Sullivan said. “Just throw strikes, let the defense work, hit spots and mix speeds.”

The Warhawks took on WIAC foe UW-La Crosse on the road April 28. Results were not posted by press time.