Titans bring out brooms in Minnesota

UWO baseball earns two victories over St. Thomas

Neal Hogden, Assistant Sports Editor

The UW Oshkosh baseball team traveled to Minneapolis and the brand new U.S. Bank Stadium where the news swept a double header against nationally-ranked St. Thomas of Minnesota last weekend.

Afternoon game

The visiting Titans won the first game against St. Thomas 4-3. UWO starting pitcher Colan Treml tossed six innings while giving up a run on five hits.

Head coach Kevin Tomasiewicz said he likes to see his starting pitchers be dominant and spoke to the team’s mentality when in a tough matchup.

“I have always said pitching sets the tone,” Tomasiewicz said. “If we pitch well, we will win. I always go by the motto, ‘It’s really hard to lose if you don’t give up any runs.’”

Senior catcher Taylor Grimm saw the ball well as he connected on a double and home run, driving in all four Titan runs.

Grimm, who was selected to the d3baseball.com Team of the Week for March 5-11, said the team held a team-first approach when at the plate.

“We knew we were going to face good pitching and we prepared well offensively this week,” Grimm said. “For me, it was about staying within myself and executing when I got the chance. Guys executed the game plan well, and we were unselfish with runners in scoring position which was a point of emphasis all week.”

Seniors Jack Paulson and Andy Brahier also reached base safely twice on the afternoon. Senior Scott Gorsuch came in for the final frame and faced two batters to earn the save.

Tomasiewicz said he liked the way his offense turned it on after only scoring one run in the first five innings.

“I really liked the way hitters trusted their approach and waited out their pitcher in the first game,” Tomasiewicz said. “I think we waited for our pitch and capitalized in the biggest moments of the game.”

Night game

After UWO starter Jesse Sustachek struggled early in the night cap, senior Nick McLees came in for relief.

McLees pitched seven innings, only giving up one run on four hits while striking out six St. Thomas batters.

McLees said he is excited about the untapped potential this team has and knows that the sweep of St. Thomas was big for the team.

“This weekend’s two wins were crucial after starting off the season on a 1-2 note,” McLees said. “Beating a dominant team like St. Thomas definitely boosts our confidence a bit. You gotta beat the best to be the best. But we know that we still have a lot to prove, and, in the grand scheme of things, we are going to face teams better than the Tommies. If we play how we know we can play, we will come out on top.”

Grimm had another spectacular game, as he went two-for-three with a home run. He said the offense has been steadily improving from year to year.

“We’ve made great strides offensively over the last year and a half, and the results are starting to show,” Grimm said. “This is the most complete offensive team I’ve been a part of here and we’re excited to prove ourselves this season.”

Tomasiewicz said his team made some mental adjustments to stay focused on the games and not the daunting venue they were playing in.

“I thought it was a great experience for our players,” Tomasiewicz said. “There are some small adjustments you have to make to get used to tracking the ball. The environment was great. I did tell our guys that it is still a baseball field and the same 200 fans will be watching you. The only difference is you have 65,000 empty seats surrounding you. Our guys did a great job of locking in their concentration when the game was about to start.”