Baseball drops close game to rival Pointers

Neal Hogden, Assistant Sports Editor

UW Oshkosh baseball had an eventful week with games being postponed and canceled due to weather as well as taking a loss at the hands of UW-Stevens Point.

The Titans never led in Thursday’s game and dropped their home opener to UW-Stevens Point, 5-3.

Senior pitcher Jesse Sustachek suffered the loss for UWO as he went 7 1/3 innings, giving up three earned runs on five hits while striking out four Pointers. Stevens Point was only able to muster six hits on the day, but mistakes like walks and errors allowed the Pointers to score five runs.

Sustachek was proud of the pitching performance the Titans were able to put up but said they need to cut down on mistakes in the future.

“I thought we pitched very well overall; however, to limit those runners from scoring we need to be better at not giving guys free bases with walks or errors,” Sustachek said. “We also need to do a better job at executing pitches with runners on so the opposing team doesn’t get those hits that could potentially score the people on base.”

After trailing 2-0 going into the bottom of the second inning, junior catcher Jensen Hinton smashed a solo homerun to right field to bring the Titans within one.

In the eighth inning, Andy Brahier grounded into a double play, which scored Alex Koch to bring the Titans back to within one, but that’s the closest they got.

UWO junior catcher Jensen Hinton blocks a pitch in the dirt against UWSP on April 12. On the season, Hinton has a .276 batting average with two home runs and 14 RBIs.
Alicia Kahl|The Advance-Titan
UWO junior catcher Jensen Hinton blocks a pitch in the dirt against UWSP on April 12. On the season, Hinton has a .276 batting average with two home runs and 14 RBIs.

UWO faced one of the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference’s premier pitchers in Stevens Point starter Cole Erickson. Titan second baseman Noah Polcyn was able to conjure three hits against Erickson and said not falling behind was key in his at-bats.

“Erickson is one of the top pitchers in the league, so I think jumping on his fastball was key,” Polcyn said. “I was fortunate enough to be put into a couple hitters counts and took advantage. He is not a pitcher that you want to get down in the count against.”

The Titans have had seven games postponed since Friday due to winter storm Evelyn. The team will have to play the rest of its remaining 22 games on the road, as the safety net protecting fans from foul balls was damaged in the storm and is unsafe for play.

This season has turned into a scheduling nightmare for the Titans as they have already had to reschedule six league games and more are sure to follow.

Head coach Kevin Tomasiewicz said Mother Nature has made it more difficult to coach.

“The rescheduling of games is a very difficult part of coaching in baseball,” Tomasiewicz said. “One or two days of change is not bad. When you get into four to six days of rescheduling, it becomes tough. The team that will come out on top at the end is going to be the team that will look at this schedule as a challenge, not a hindrance.”

Another memo was sent to WIAC baseball teams last week, as the WIAC conference tournament will be canceled to allow teams to make up regular season games over that time span.

Tomasiewicz said the cancellation of the conference tournament isn’t a big deal and the team needs to focus on each and every game.

“Losing the conference tournament really doesn’t affect a whole lot for me,” Tomasiewicz said. “We just need to prepare to win every game from here out and we will be fine.”