Titans put on offensive clinic, earn 10 wins

The UW Oshkosh baseball team scored in double-digits five times during its winning streak.

The nationally ranked UW Oshkosh baseball team began its five-game home stand on Wednesday, defeating Wisconsin Lutheran College by a score of 11-2.

Junior pitcher Colan Treml started the home opener for the Titans, going five innings while giving up one earned run and striking out four Warriors. Senior pitchers Nick McLees and sophomore Alex Larson then came in and shut down the Warriors, keeping them scoreless for the rest of the game.

Senior catcher Taylor Grimm recorded six RBIs on the day with three of them coming on a three-run homer in the third inning. Senior shortstop Jack Paulson had a bases-clearing double and later scored on a Grimm sacrifice fly to open up a 7-1 lead in the fourth inning.

Oshkosh added one run in the seventh inning and three more in the eighth to put the nail in the coffin. It scored 11 runs on 11 hits to push its record to 11-2.

The Titans won all seven of their contests on their eight-day trip to Auburndale, Florida during spring break.

They defeated teams including Ripon College, The College of St. Scholastica (Minn.), Lawrence University, Washington and Jefferson College (Pa.), Grinnell College (Iowa), Benedictine University (Ill.) and Thomas College (Maine).

The games against Lawrence University and Benedictine University were cut short as the Titans’ offense exploded early and often to force mercy-rule victories over both teams.

On the trip, the team was most tested in its 4-2 victory over the College of St. Scholastica. The Saints (ranked 22nd in Division III by d3baseball.com) have made 14-straight trips to the NCAA postseason.

Another solid victory came against Washington and Jefferson College as the Titans opened up a 7-0 lead against the reigning D-III runners-up in the third inning and never looked back. The Titans tacked on four more runs and went on to win 11-1.

With a different area of the country comes a different climate, which McLees said wasn’t a negative thing for the Titans.

“The Florida weather helped us more than it hurt us,” McLees said. “More than any other sport, baseball was made to be played in warm weather. Our hitters hit better, fielders fielded better and pitching staff threw harder and more accurately. I think the challenge will be adjusting back to colder weather.”

The Titans capped their road trip with a 20-0 win over Thomas College with McLees tossing 5 2/3 innings of no-hit ball. UWO got doubles from Grimm, juniors Sam Schwenn, Zack Radde and Dylan Ott and freshman Hunter Staniske.

The team scored seven or more runs in six of its seven games while in Florida, outscoring its opponents 78-8 over that span.

Head coach Kevin Tomasiewicz said the hard work his hitters put in during the offseason is yielding good results during the season.

“Plain and simple, our players are starting to see the results of the work they have put in,” Tomasiewicz said. “We had changed our approach at the plate, and it has taken a year and a half to see results. They know that the success is coming, and players are anxious to get to the plate. That’s always a good thing.”

Ott had a hot bat all week as he had four multi-hit games on the trip, helping UWO score eight or more runs in the past six games. Ott said the team’s offensive explosion can be attributed to the mental and technical work it’s put in.

“Buying into the program and the new techniques coaches have us doing, and of course just seeing the ball well and having confidence that everybody that goes up to the plate for us can and will get the job done [has led to our success at the plate],” Ott said.

The confidence the team gained over the trip should help it going into the always-tough Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference schedule.

Ott said the team can’t get too far ahead of itself as it nears WIAC play.

“It’s a boost of confidence, that’s for sure, but we know what comes with playing in the WIAC,” Ott said. “It’s not going to come easy, but we know we match up well and can beat anybody on our schedule.”

Tomasiewicz echoed Ott’s mantra of worrying about each game as it comes.

“We are not even thinking about conference yet,” Tomasiewicz said. “When the end of the [Milwaukee School of Engineering] game comes, then we will think about the conference, especially our first [WIAC] opponent, Stevens Point.”

The Titans continue their home-stand with doubleheaders against MSOE on Friday and against UW-Stevens Point on Tuesday.