Titans keeps pace in WIAC standings

After earning four victories over the course of the week, UWO baseball remains in third place.

The 11th-ranked UW Oshkosh baseball team got back on track this week as it took four games from UW-Platteville and split a doubleheader with UW-Whitewater.

The Titans went on the road against the No. 3 team in the nation in UW-Whitewater for a Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference doubleheader.

Junior pitcher Colan Treml went the distance as he threw all nine innings while only allowing one run in the first part of the doubleheader. He struck out seven Warhawks and only allowed three hits in the 5-1 Titan win.

Senior left fielder Logan Reckert led the Titan offense with a two-run home run in the top of the sixth inning to open up a 3-0 lead over Whitewater.

In the second game against Whitewater, the Titans did not experience the same success.

Oshkosh suffered a seven-inning, mercy rule beatdown at the hands of the Warhawks. Going into the third inning, the Titans were tied at one but Whitewater would score at least one run in the next four innings to beat the Titans 11-1.

UWO had no problem putting up runs against Platteville as it scored 49 runs over the four-game series.

Head coach Kevin Tomasiewicz said he was happy to see his guys do good things at the plate.

“I think they stayed with their approach really well this past weekend,” Tomasiewicz said. “Most guys did not expand the strike zone and were able to capitalize on pitches over the plate.”

In the opening contest of the series, Treml pitched a gem as he went seven innings, giving up four hits and striking out six Pioneers. Senior Scott Gorsuch then came in to pitch the final two innings and complete the 9-0 win for the Titans.

Treml said getting run support early and often helped him focus on his task on the mound.

“It helps tremendously when you have a good lead,” Treml said. “When you have run support like that, it lets you focus less on making every pitch perfect and allows you to focus on just pitching to make contact.”

The third game featured UWO getting out to a 13-2 lead going into the bottom of the fifth inning. Junior Alex Koch had a grand slam in the third inning and fellow junior Zach Radde’s two-run homer in the fifth helped build the lead for Oshkosh.

Koch said wanting to put up runs no matter the score is an important mindset to have when going up to the plate.

“No matter what the score, you always feel pressure to keep putting up runs,” Koch said. “We expect a lot out of our offense, as a team, and we just expect ourselves to get the job done whether we are up by 10, down by 10 or tied.”

The Pioneers weren’t finished though, as they battled back to bring the game within four runs in the eighth inning, but it wasn’t enough as UWO went on to win 15-10.

In the series finale, the Titans came away with a 16-12 victory during a four and a half hour contest that even featured a delay because a turkey was running on the field. Seniors Taylor Grimm, Andy Brahier and Reckert along with junior Dylan Ott all recorded four-hit games in the game.

In the second game, the Titans were able to score at least one run in all but three innings. This helped the team erase a four-run first inning for Platteville. UWO went on to win the game by a score of 9-5.

Late last week, news broke that the team will have to play all of its remaining games on the road. Winter storm Evelyn caused significant damage to the safety net behind home plate. This net is meant to keep spectators safe from foul balls, and without it, the games could not be played.

Treml said playing all of their remaining schedule on the road puts stress on the players to keep up with academics.

“It’s hard,” Treml said. “There’s a lot of things that are going on, and academics have to be a priority along with baseball coming second. A lot of people don’t understand how much goes into playing a sport, and trying to handle both at the same time is definitely not easy.”

Koch said the players on the team have to support each other and make sure guys are putting in work in the classroom as well as on the diamond.

“Going on the road means really keeping up on school work,” Koch said. “Guys work on projects and homework on the bus or at the hotel all the time, and we hold each other accountable for taking care of business in the classroom.”

UWO is in the middle of a seven game stretch over five days where their pitching depth will most certainly be tested. Tomasiewicz said it will be tough but he believes his guys are up to it.

“Our depth will be tested there is no doubt about that,” Tomasiewicz said. “This week, all the teams we play are really in the same place we are with six or seven games in this short amount of time. Hopefully we will manage it and some of our pitchers will have good outings to keep the other team off the scoreboard.”