UWL spoils the Titans WIAC home opener

Levi Zimmerman

The Titan baseball team looked to hit the ground running as they began conference play. With 13 returning letter winners, including five position players and four pitchers, as well as a mix of young talent, the Titans look to make themselves heard in the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. Among the talented freshmen on this season’s team is infielder Andy Brahier. Brahier, who was selected as WIAC’s Baseball Position Player of the Week for games played March 23-29, said he understands the importance of conference play. “Playing against teams like Whitewater, La Crosse and Stevens Point will be great measuring games for us,” Brahier said. The Titans fell short to the UW-La Crosse in a four-game series, 3-1, on April 2-3. This year’s team has had a steady contribution from its pitching rotation. Among the contributors is junior Peter Jewell. Jewell has been a leader for the Titans, comprising a record of 2-1 with an ERA of 4.05. Like Brahier, Jewell said he is anticipating the games that will be played against conference rivals UW-Whitewater and UW-Stevens Point. Jewell said he understands the grind of a full-length season and the ups and downs that come with it. “We’re climbing the mountain right now”, Jewell said. “Every day will be better than the last.” Junior first baseman and catcher Trey Demler said the early season non-conference games prepared them nicely for their competitive conference play ahead. “Those games gave us an opportunity to move some guys around and figure out what was going to work best for our team,” Demler said. “The non-conference games were a great way to expose a lot of our new guys to different situations.” Demler said the team looks to improve in its mental approach to the game. “Being as young as we are, the biggest thing we need to figure out is how to grind out four baseball games in a weekend,” Demler said. “Mental toughness is a huge part of having success in our conference, and being able to lock in for 10 hours on double-header days isn’t always an easy thing, but the great teams are the ones that can do that.” Demler said the Titans believe they can compete for championships and give former reigning title holders a run for their money. “We get the opportunity, just like everyone else, to win a regular season conference title, a conference tournament title, a regional title, as well as a national title, and we’re not going to sell ourselves short and strive for anything less than that,” Demler said. The Titans hit the road on April 11 to visit fellow conference opponent Stevens Point.