UWO baseball splits doubleheaders

Jacob Link, Co-Sports Editor

The UW Oshkosh baseball team split their doubleheader against Milwaukee School of Engineering (MSOE) on Sunday in Glendale, with the Titans taking the first game 3-0 but falling in the second game 11-8 in 10 innings.

The Titans followed up by splitting a doubleheader against UW-Eau Claire on Tuesday at Capital Credit Union Park in Ashwaubenon. UWO took the first game 6-3, but was shut out 3-0 in the second game.
“We would’ve loved to have taken both from them, and we expected to do so, but in the end, we couldn’t execute,” Oshkosh first baseman Zach Taylor said. “There was a mixt of emotions.”

In the first game against the Blugolds, the Titans were led by Nicholas Shiu who went 3-4 with three RBIs and scored a run in the team’s sixth win of the season. Harry Orth recorded the win for Oshkosh, going seven innings and allowing three runs on four hits.

Oshkosh could not get their offense going in the second game against Eau Claire, scoring no runs on five hits. The game remained tied 0-0 until the sixth inning where UWEC’s Andrew Murphy hit a sacrifice fly to bring in one run. UWEC added another run in the seventh when Chase Yaeger hit an RBI single to increase the Blugold lead to 2-0. Murphy followed up in the eighth with another sacrifice fly to bring the game to 3-0 Eau Claire. Oshkosh had the tying run at home plate in the ninth, but Mickey McDowell struck out to end the game.

Courtesy of UWO Athletics
Orth struck out eight batters in UWO’s 3-0 win over MSOE in the first game of Sunday’s doubleheader. Orth, a senior, is 3-1 with a 2.93 ERA this season.

The Titans pulled out the win against MSOE in the first game of Sunday’s doubleheader behind a combined one-hitter from pitchers Orth and Connor Brinkman. UWO kicked off the scoring in the fifth inning when Jake Anderson’s single drove in Mason Kirchberg. The game remained 1-0 Oshkosh until Shiu scored on a wild pitch in the eight. Taylor drove in Matt Scherrman on a double to add another run to the board for the Titans in the ninth inning.

Orth recorded his second win of the season for UWO, allowing no runs on one hit and had eight strikeouts in his five innings of work. Brinkman received his first save of the year, allowing no runs, no hits and striking out six batters in four innings. Brinkman now has a 1.29 ERA on the year in five games.

Brinkman said his low ERA is from his hard work in practice.
“The only thing behind the 1.29 ERA is hard work and getting the job when the opportunities come,” Brinkman said.

Taylor said that the whole team played well in the first game of the doubleheader.
“We had some really good pitching throughout the game, and we were able to string together some clutch hits when we needed to,” Taylor said. “It was an overall team effort.”

In the second game, the Titans jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the second inning after Eric Modaff hit an infield sacrifice-fly that scored Shiu. The contest remained 1-0 until the sixth inning when the Titans scored five runs. Scherrman and Taylor hit back-to-back home runs to increase the lead to three runs. Shiu scored later in the inning after an errant throw by MSOE’s center fielder. Modaff and Kirchberg then scored on wild pitches as the lead grew to 6-0 after six innings.

The Titans scored another run in the ninth but fell apart as MSOE rallied from seven runs down to force extra innings. Micah Overly smoked a three-run homer and Blake Hall hit a two RBI double to pull the Raiders back to 7-5. William Blank and Francis Ryan both hit sacrifice flies to center to send the game into extra innings.

Oshkosh pulled ahead in the 10th after an Andrew Deardurff RBI single, but the Titans could not hold the lead. MSOE’s Chris Barnes tied the game at eight after an RBI single. With two outs in the bottom of the 10th, Hall hit a walk-off three-run home run to send the Raiders past the Titans 11-8.

Brinkman said the team got ahead of themselves and allowed MSOE to make a comeback.
“The only thing that happened was we got excited about our lead and tried to coast to the end,” Brinkman said. “That didn’t work and we need to stay focused the whole game.”

Taylor said that baseball can be unpredictable at times.
“Baseball is a funny sport where anything can happen,” Taylor said. “We had been able to shut them out for the whole game, at some point they were bound to put together some offense. We did our best to battle back but, in the end, they got hits when they needed to.”

Taylor, who leads the team in RBIs, said his ability to drive in runners is a mix of being lucky and having a solid approach.
“You have to know what pitches you’re looking for and what pitches you can drive, but you also have to have guys on base,” he said.

The Titans will take on UW-Whitewater in back-to-back doubleheaders on Saturday and Sunday at Purcha Field at James B. Miller Stadium in Whitewater.