UWO baseball improves to 4-1


Courtesy of UWO athletics — Oshkosh’s Connor Brinkman pitches against Webster University March 6.

Jacob Link, Co-Sports Editor

The UW Oshkosh baseball team won two games against Webster University (Mo.) over the weekend, but fell to Benedictine University (Ill.) March 5 in a three-game road trip in Sauget, Illinois.

The Titans (4-1) took down Webster 14-3 and 5-4, respectively, before falling to Benedictine 12-6 in 10 innings.

Webster (2-4) jumped out to a 1-0 lead March 6 in the first inning after a Parker Wielt double to left field scored RJ Larocco from second base. The Gorloks extended their lead to 3-0 when Nathaniel Martinez hit a two-run blast to left field in the fourth inning. UWO scored three runs over the next two innings to tie the game after Brenden Max hit a sacrifice fly and both Jake Surane and Mason Kirchberg singled to left field, scoring runners from third base.

In the bottom of the sixth, Ben Swords scored on a fielder’s choice and Webster retook the lead. The Titans trailed by a run until the top of the ninth until Chase Marsh singled to right field, scoring Jack McNamara and Jack McKellips to give UWO a one-run lead. Oshkosh’s Connor Brinkman held the Gorloks scoreless in the bottom half of the inning, and UWO hung on to win 5-4.

Brinkman pitched all nine innings for the Titans, allowing four runs on nine hits and struck out two batters to pick up his second win of the season. First baseman Zach Taylor went 2-for-3 in the game, with a single, double and a run scored to lead all UWO hitters. Marsh finished the game 2-for-4 with two singles and an RBI.

Oshkosh fell behind in the first inning March 4 when Webster hit a single to left field, scoring one run. The game was scoreless in the next four innings before the Gorloks extended their lead to two runs when Malik Wirges drove in Sam Turilli from third base. The Titans responded with a three-run home run from Kirchberg in the seventh inning to take a 3-2 lead.

UWO went on to score seven runs in the top of the eighth inning to extend their advantage to 10-2 after a string of errors from Webster and a two-run homer from Nicholas Shiu. Taylor hit a grand slam in the ninth for UWO and the Gorloks added a run in the bottom half of the inning as Oshkosh went on to win 14-3.

Oshkosh pitcher LJ Waco said he was impressed with the team’s resilience in the first game against Webster.

“When we faced off against Webster, we were getting no-hit through the first four innings, so it was good for us to pop off in the seventh inning and score a bunch of runs,” He said.

Waco secured his first win of the season, giving up two runs on six hits while striking out eight batters and pitching eight innings. Logan King came into the game for one inning of relief, giving up one run on three hits and striking out one batter. Taylor finished the game 4-for-5 with a grand slam, a double and six RBIs. The Titans combined to have 12 hits and 13 RBIs in the win.

Waco said it felt good to get his first start of the season.

“It was tough getting off the bus after a 6 hour ride and then having my first start of the year,” he said. “It was a good outing and it was a beautiful day to play some baseball.”

UWO took the lead against Benedictine (4-2) in the first inning March 5 when Taylor singled to center field, scoring Max to give the Titans a 1-0 lead. Oshkosh scored four more runs over the next three innings after a pair of errors from the Eagles to lead 5-1 after four innings. The Eagles loaded the bases in the top of the sixth inning, and Benedictine scored three runs off a walk, a sacrifice fly and a single to cut the deficit to one run.

Benedictine went on to tie the game in the next frame when Cole Wilson scored on a balk from Aaron Huibregtse. Both teams added a run in the ninth inning but UWO fell apart in the 10th inning, allowing six runs after an error and a wild pitch. Oshkosh was held scoreless in the bottom half of the 10th as Benedictine held on to win 12-6.

Waco said he didn’t know what happened to the Titans in extra innings.

“We had a great start. (Cameron) Mulvihill had a great start in that game, going five innings,” Waco said. “He dominated most of the game but when we went to our bullpen and then we couldn’t match their energy towards the end of the game and unfortunately we couldn’t pull off the win.”

Oshkosh went a combined 9-for-40 in the game, leaving 13 runners stranded on base. Huibregtse picked up the loss in the game, going 2.1 innings and giving up four runs on four hits.

In their next game the Titans will take on DePauw University (Ind.) (4-4) March 11 in Lexington, Kentucky, at 11 a.m.