Titans sweep baseball in 4 game series

The University of Wisconsin-Platteville baseball team suffered their fourth series sweep this year at the hands of the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh Titans on Saturday and Sunday.

Saturday’s double header began with a 9-6 Pioneer loss.  The Pioneers had built a 5-1 lead after two and a half innings, helped by a two-run home run by junior first baseman Zach Demmon.  The Titans answered with two, two and four runs in the third, fourth and fifth innings, respectively.

The Pioneers were aggressive on the base paths, tallying three stolen bases.  However, their bats went quiet after the fourth inning, and the Titans’ reliever Brock Guetzke racked up seven of the nine Pioneer strikeouts.

Senior starting pitcher Bill Oppriecht continued his tough season, dropping his record to 2-7 after giving up nine runs–six earned–in his four and two-thirds innings of work.

Freshman designated hitter George Jester III had the worst day at the plate for the Pioneers, leaving five runners on base in an 0-4, two strikeout game.

Saturday’s second game was a tightly contested affair in which the Titans edged out the Pioneers 4-3.

Both teams scored a run in the third inning, followed by the Titans scoring two runs in the fourth to take a 3-1 lead.  The Pioneers tied the game in the seventh on a two-RBI single by leadoff hitter and junior centerfielder Ryan Duva.

Pioneer senior pitcher Adam Theis was on the bump for the Pioneers and was keeping the Titans’ hitters off balance.  However, one of his few mistakes ended up being the nail in the coffin for the Pioneers, as Titans’ left fielder Bobby Kachel drilled a home run to left field, giving the Titans the lead for good.

Sunday saw much of the same for the Pioneers.  Game one was a 10-0 shutout in seven innings for the Titans, as Pioneer starter junior Shane Murphy allowed five runs, including two home runs, in two and a third.

UW-Oshkosh starter Joe Pavlovich kept the Pioneer bats silent in the game, scattering just five hits in his complete game win.  Titans’ shortstop Michael Polcyn hit two two-run home runs in the game.

The Titans offense was quick to score in Sunday’s game two, scoring five runs in the first two innings, including a three-run home run by Kachel.  The Pioneer offense responded with three in the fourth inning, two runs coming on a bases-loaded fielding error by Titans’ second baseman Michael Swift.

UW-Platteville tied the game in the sixth on an RBI single by senior catcher Topher Scheeler and another Titans error two batters later.  The Titans rallied right back at the Pioneers, scoring five runs in their half of the sixth on the strength of five hits, including a two-run home run.

After scoring an insurance run in the seventh, the Titans held on to the 11-9 lead despite an error-ridden ninth inning in which the Pioneers scored four runs.

The Pioneers will finish their regular season schedule with a double header at University of Wisconsin-Whitewater on Wednesday.  With their 10-28 (5-17 WIAC) record this season as of Tuesday, their chances of making the WIAC Tournament are slim.