Independent Student Newspaper of UW Oshkosh Campuses

The Advance-Titan

Independent Student Newspaper of UW Oshkosh Campuses

The Advance-Titan

Independent Student Newspaper of UW Oshkosh Campuses

The Advance-Titan

Baseball drops three of four in Florida

Courtesy of UWO Athletics Jack McKellips celebrates with his teammates after hitting a home run in the win versus Saint Mary’s.

The UW Oshkosh baseball team played at the Russmatt Baseball Invitational in Auburndale, Florida and Winter Haven, Florida on March 7-10, where they would lose three of four games.

The Titans first game would come against Saint Mary’s University (Minnesota) with sophomore Aidan Trusky taking the mound for the start in his first appearance of the season.

The Titans would find the board first in the bottom of the first inning after a Jack McNamara double was followed by a Zach Taylor single that drove McNamara home giving the Titans a 1-0 lead.

The second inning was headlined by the Titans tallying two more runs. The Titans would load the bases for center fielder Jake Surane, where he would hit a single that would bring the Titan lead to 3-0 as Owen Housinger and Brenden Max crossed home plate.

Trusky would start the game with three perfect innings until Saint Mary’s hit back-to-back singles to lead off the fourth inning, where the two runners would eventually score off an error by Carter Stebane three at-bats later to cut the Titans lead to 3-2.

Surane would respond with a solo home run in the bottom of the fourth, getting the Titan lead back to two.

The fifth inning would be when UWO blew the game open. Nick Shiu would hit a lead off single then take second base off a passed ball. Shiu would advance to third base on Stebane sacrifice fly, then score off another passed ball from Saint Mary’s pitcher. After back-to-back singles from Max and Housinger, Jack McKellips would hit a three-run home run to make the Titan lead 8-2.

After giving up a run in the top of the sixth inning, UWO would jump on Saint Mary’s again with a two-run home run by Shiu. Max would hit an RBI double later in the inning, where he’d get thrown out at third trying to stretch the hit into a triple. 

The Titans would score two more runs in the seventh inning with RBI singles from both Surane and McNamara. This would push the Titan lead to 13-3 when they would call the game after seven innings because of the Titans’ 10-run lead.

Trusky would finish the game with 4.1 innings pitched giving up two hits and two runs with two strikeouts, earning his first win of the 2024 campaign. Josh Jansen would come in for 2.2 innings of relief where he gave up one run on two hits while tallying two strikeouts.

The Titans would take the field again the following day against Mitchell College (Connecticut) with L.J. Waco making his third appearance and second start on the mound this season.

The game would start out quiet for both teams until the bottom of the second inning when Mitchell hit a two-RBI double to gain a two run advantage on the Titans.

The Titans would finally knot the game up in the fourth inning with a pair of sacrifice flies from Shiu and Stebane, scoring Mason Kirchberg and McNamara. 

With momentum on their side, the Titans would take the lead off a RBI single from Kirchberg in the sixth inning. Two at-bats later, Stebane would hit a double to right field, scoring Taylor from second base giving the Titans a 4-2 lead.

Mitchell would cut the lead to one in the eighth inning, entering the ninth inning, the Titans would bring in Brett Gaynor for the save attempt. Mitchell would be able to tie the game at 4-4 after hitting a triple followed by a double in the inning. After giving up the RBI double, Gaynor was able to strand two runners on base with back-to-back strikeouts to send the game into extra innings.

After the Titans failed to pick up a run in the top of the 10th inning, Mitchell’s Savier Paige would hit a lead-off single then steal second base. Kirchberg would commit an error with one out in the inning, allowing Paige to score from second base for a walk-off 5-4 win for Mitchell.

The Titans next contest came against Buena Vista University (Iowa) with Connor Brinkman making his third start of the season for the Titans. Brinkman, who had a rough outing in his first start of the season, threw eight scoreless innings and only gave up three hits in his previous start.

However Saturday would be a high scoring affair for both sides. The scoring would start with back-to-back solo home runs from Kirchberg and Shiu to lead-off the second inning. 

Shiu would strike again with an RBI single with two outs in the third inning and Stebane would follow with a two-RBI single of his own, giving the Titans a 5-0 lead through three innings.

Buena Vista would finally respond in the bottom of the fourth inning against UWO by scoring four runs. That half of the inning would include a two-run home run, a RBI single and a RBI fielder’s choice to cut the Titans lead to 5-4. In the bottom of the sixth inning, Buena Vista would knot the game up at 5-5 after a sacrifice fly.

The Titans would break the tie in the top of the seventh inning when the freshman outfielder, Logan Schill, hit an RBI single that scored Braydon Skenandore from second base after Skenandore’s double. Surane would hit an RBI double that scored McKellips from third, but Riley Pfeiffer, who was pinch running for Schill, would get thrown out at home plate trying to score from second base, keeping the Titans lead 7-5.

After Buena Vista cut the lead to 7-6 in the seventh inning, the Titans would have a big eighth inning. The Titans would score off an RBI single from Shiu, followed by Shiu and Stebane scoring off wild pitches in the inning, giving the Titans a 10-6 lead with only six outs remaining.

The sixth inning would be one to forget for the junior right hander, Alex Windey, as Buena Vista would be able to small ball their way to five runs in the inning, giving Buena Vista an improbable 11-10 advantage heading into the last inning.

After a 3-up, 3-down top of the ninth inning, the Titans would fall 11-10, completing Buena Vista’s comeback. Brinkman would finish the game with 6.1 innings pitched, six earned runs on 12 hits, seven strikeouts and a no-decision. Windey would earn the loss in this contest after giving up five runs in one inning of work.

The final game at the invitational for the Titans came on Sunday against Salve Regina University (Rhode Island) with Connor Walters making his second start of the season for the Titans.

Salve Regina would send a message to Walters and the Titans immediately when Salve Regina hit a lead-off home run in the top of the first inning. Salve Regina would proceed to score two more runs in the top of the second inning to give the Titans a 3-0 deficit to start the contest. 

The Titans would respond with three runs in the bottom of the second inning off RBIs from Housinger and Surane. The two sides would exchange a run a piece in the third to give the game a score of 4-4 entering the fourth inning. 

In an unforgettable top half of the fourth inning, Salve Regina would blow the game wide open. After two singles that brought in a total of three runs, Salve Regina’s Tyler Petrosino stepped to the plate with the bases loaded and delivered with a grand slam. Salve Regina was not done as they were able to follow Petrosino’s grand slam with a solo home run and an RBI single later in the inning, giving Salve Regina a nine-run inning and making their lead 13-4.

Petrosino homered yet again, this time only a solo home run, in the fifth inning to extend the Salve Regina lead to 14-4. The Titans were able to have a great inning at the plate in the fifth inning, scoring three runs thanks to a combination of a fielding error, a wild pitch and an RBI single from Taylor, shrinking the lead to 14-8.

Salve Regina would continue to pour it on the Titans in the sixth inning, scoring six more runs off a two-RBI single, a three-run home run and a throwing error. The Titans would respond with two runs in the bottom half of the inning to cut the lead to 20-10.

Salve Regina were able to add another run in the seventh inning before the game was called at the end of the inning. Titans lost with a crooked score of 21-10, making their record fall to 4-5 on the season.

Connor Walters earned the loss with 11 earned runs on 12 hits through three innings. Nick Rector and Parker Thompson would come in relief giving up seven and three runs each, respectively.

The Titans will return to action in Decatur, Illinois where they will play a game against Millikin University (Illinois) on March 16 and two games against Benedictine University (Illinois) on March 16 and 17. 

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