UWO splits conference-opening doubleheader against Whitewater


Courtesy of UWO Athletics — UWO’s Zach Taylor hits a double against Transylvania University March 12 in Lexington, Kentucky.

Jacob Link, Co-Sports Editor

The UW Oshkosh baseball team split its opening Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference doubleheader against UW-Whitewater, defeating the Warhawks 9-8 in the first game but falling in the second game 17-4 at Miller Stadium April 2.

The Titans (10-1, 1-1 WIAC) won their first game of the WIAC season in dramatic fashion, hitting a walk off home run to win the game after entering the bottom of the ninth inning trailing 8-7.

Trey Tennessen picked up his first win of the season, pitching the final three frames and giving up no runs on three hits. Connor Brinkman started on the mound for the Titans, going three innings and allowing six runs on eight hits while striking out three batters. Aaron Huibregtse pitched two innings of relief, giving up two runs on five hits.

UWO hit three homers in the game, with Nicholas Shiu, Mason Kirchberg and Chase Marsh all going deep in the contest. Marsh led all batters in the contest, going 3-for-4 with a homer, two singles, an RBI and a run scored. First baseman Zach Taylor went 2-for-3, hitting a double and finishing with two RBIs. Both Matt Scherrman and Jake Andersen had two singles each as the Titans ended the game with 13 hits and nine RBIs.

Whitewater (10-3, 3-1 WIAC) struck first in the game, scoring two runs in the first inning after a single from Nick Paget. Oshkosh responded in the bottom of the second inning when Andersen drove in Taylor from third base with a single to cut the UWW lead to 2-1. The Warhawks hit three home runs in the fourth inning, with Matt Soclan hitting a two-run shot and Adam Cootway as well as Sam Vomhof blasting solo shots, to increase their lead to five runs.

In the bottom of the fifth inning, Marsh hit a homer to left center field and Taylor hit an RBI double as UWO narrowed the Whitewater lead to 6-3. UWW scored its final two runs of the contest in the sixth inning following an RBI single from Vomhof and an RBI double from Matt Korman.

The Titans scored two runs in the seventh inning after an RBI single from Taylor and a fielder’s choice from Shiu.  UWO cut the lead to 8-7 in the next frame after the Warhawks walked in a run and Oshkosh’s Brenden Max drove in a run after he hit into a double play.

UWO needed just two batters in the bottom of the ninth inning to complete the comeback against Whitewater. Shiu and Mason Kirchberg hit back-to-back home runs to give Oshkosh its 10th win of the season.

In the second game of the doubleheader, UWW had 20 hits en route to a 17-4 win in seven innings.

UWO’s Matt Sorrells recorded his first loss of the season, going four innings and giving up eight runs on 12 hits. Oshkosh used three relief pitchers in the game, with Parker Thompson giving up two runs in 0.2 innings, Jordan Skenandore giving up seven runs in 1.2 innings and Hoyt Keller allowing no runs in 0.2 innings pitched. Offensively, the Titans were led by Jake Surane, who went 2-for-4 with a pair of singles and a run scored.

Whitewater kicked off the scoring in the first inning with an RBI single from Donovan Brandl to take a 1-0 lead. UWW tacked on three more runs in the third inning after Brandl drove in two runs with a double and Sam Paden hit an RBI single. Whitewater’s lead grew to 7-0 when the Warhawks scored three runs in the fourth inning from a pair of RBI doubles and an error from Taylor.

Oshkosh finally got on the board in the bottom of the fourth inning when Taylor smashed a two-run home run to left field. UWW scored three more runs in the fifth inning from a Cootway home run and a pair of groundouts with the bases loaded. UWO responded with a two RBI single from Scherrman to cut the UWW lead to 10-4.

Whitewater scored one run in the sixth inning but exploded for six runs in the next frame to end the game early due to the NCAA’s 10 run rule. The Warhawks loaded the bases in the final inning and Paden scored a run on a fielder’s choice. UWW hit three singles later in the inning, driving in five runs, and allowing the Warhawks to cruise to their 10th win of the season.

The doubleheader was originally scheduled to be played April 1 in Oshkosh but was played as a neutral site game in Whitewater due to poor weather conditions.

The Titans will take on UWW in a doubleheader April 3 at Miller stadium starting at noon.