University of Wisconsin-Platteville snapped a six-game losing and started WIAC play with a doubleheader split against No. 17 University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh on Saturday afternoon at Kendall Murray Field. The Pioneers rallied to take game one by a 3-2 margin and fell in the nightcap to the Titans, 5-0.
The doubleheader split puts UW-Platteville at 2-10 overall and 1-1 in the WIAC; meanwhile and No. 17 UW-Oshkosh is now 10-2 and 1-1 in the WIAC. The doubleheader was originally scheduled to be played at UW-Oshkosh before field conditions moved the twinbill to Platteville.
In game one, the Pioneers were held in check by Titans starter Jeremy Rubens, who had held UW-Platteville to just two hits through the first eight innings. The Titans offense stranded 14 runners and got 11 hits but just one run in the game. Derek Hiroskey had three hits and Jake Dostalek, Tyler Kamps and Kyle Van Abel each had two.
UW-Platteville starter Bill Oppriecht evened his record to 1-1 with a six-strikeout effort in eight innings of work. Titans’ starter Jeremy Rubens pitched eight and a third innings, scattering six hits and striking out four to fall to 1-2.
The Pioneers started the ninth with a triple by Levi Ney and double by Cody Luther to nearly identical spots in right field that fought through the teeth of the windy conditions in Platteville. The double by Luther scored Ney to tie the game at 1.
Next, an intentional walk to Aaron Hopson put runners on first and second for UW-Platteville. However, an errant pickoff attempt by Rubens moved the runners into scoring position. He came right back to record a strikeout but the Pioneers next batter Trevor Kattre drove in both Luther and Hopson with a single up the middle to stretch the lead to 3-1.
UW-Platteville nearly added to its lead when they had runners on first and third following another UW-Oshkosh error on a Brad Milka fly ball that prompted a pitching change. The Titans reliever, Troy Mrkvicka got a strikeout and fly out to end the inning.
Holding a 3-1 lead, in the bottom of the ninth, Nolan Fadness walked to end the day for Bill Oppriecht and the Pioneers brought in Grant Oldenburg. He immediately got a ground out for the first out of the inning but Fadness moved into scoring position. A single by the Titans and subsequent error by the Pioneers put runners on second and third for UW-Oshkosh.
A walk by the Titans loaded the bases; then, Oldenburg got a bases-loaded fly out for the second out of the inning. Clinging to a two-run lead, UW-Oshkosh cut the deficit to one, 3-2, with a bases loaded walk. Then, Oldenburg ended the comeback efforts with a strikeout to seal the win for the Pioneers for his first save of the season.
In the nightcap, UW-Oshkosh starter Phil Schreiber went the distance and allowed just five hits and struck out nine to raise his record 3-0 in a Titans’ 5-0 win over the Pioneers.
UW-Oshkosh scored twice in both the first and seventh and an additional runner in the third for the win. Pioneers’ third baseman Aaron Hopson went 2-for-4 in the loss for UW-Platteville. Titans’ second baseman Tyler Kamps with 3-for-3 with two runs scored and a RBI, shortstop Nolan Fadness was 2-for-4 with two runs scored and catcher Alex Mullendore was 1-for-2 with two RBI.
UW-Oshkosh scored each of its runs in the first inning on sacrifice flies by Mullendore and Jake Dostalek for the early 2-0 advantage. They added to their lead when Kamps drew a one-out walk, he swiped second to move into scoring position. He later came in to score on a RBI double by Mullendore to extend the lead to 3-0.
The Pioneers mounted threats in the fifth and sixth inning; however, they stranded two runners on base in each inning. In the seventh, they got a double by Brad Milka to start the inning but UW-Platteville was unable to manufacture a run. In its half of the seventh, the Titans scored two more on three hits to stretch the lead to 5-0. A RBI double by Kamps and another run came around on a double play for UW-Oshkosh.
The two teams will meet up again for another doubleheader on Sunday at Kendall Murray Field and first pitch is scheduled for noon.