The University of Wisconsin-Platteville and University of Wisconsin-Superior waited a day to begin a crucial series in WIAC action on Sunday at Kendall Murray Field. After the one day layoff, the two teams split a doubleheader with the Yellow Jackets winning the opener by a 10-3 margin and the Pioneers holding on for the nightcap victory, 4-3 for the split.
With the doubleheader split, UW-Platteville is now 6-17 overall and 4-8 in the WIAC; whereas UW-Superior is now 6-15 overall and 2-5 in the WIAC.
After a scoreless first inning, where UW-Platteville left the bases loaded, UW-Superior came back and sent 10 batters to the plate. The Yellow Jackets took advantage of five walks from UW-Platteville pitching and an error to score six runs. The Pioneers walked in one run and with the bases loaded, UW-Superior’s Matt Labelle emptied the bases with a three-RBI double for the early lead.
Facing a 6-0 deficit, the Pioneers gradually worked at the deficit scoring a run in its half of the second. UW-Platteville threatened again in the third with two more base runners but they were left stranded when the Yellow Jackets got a ground out.
UW-Superior added to the lead with a two-run home run in the fourth inning, stretching the advantage to 8-1. The Pioneers added a run in each the fifth and sixth innings but also stranded four more base runners in the process. With an 8-3 lead, the Yellow Jackets scored two more in the ninth to complete the scoring.
In the loss, the Pioneers stranded 11 runners on base and gave up eight walks. Cody Luther went 2-for-4 with a RBI to lead UW-Platteville. In relief of starter Shane Murphy, who fell to 0-3, Mike Hooker pitched the final 7 1/3 innings, scattering six hits, striking out four and allowed four runs – all earned.
For the Yellow Jackets, Dan Lindsey came out of the bullpen in relief of starter Graham Miller, who did not give up a hit but gave up four walks in his lone inning, pitched five innings of five-hit relief. He allowed two runs – both earned and struck out three to even his record to 1-1. Offensively, Joe Stark had two of UW-Superior’s seven hits and seven of the nine Yellow Jackets plated a run.
UW-Platteville starter Davis Lenzen (pictured at the top) led the Pioneers to a 4-3 win in the nightcap. The sophomore from Hudson had an impressive outing, holding the Yellow Jackets to just four hits and an unearned run for his second win of the season. Lenzen got early support from the Pioneers offense, which scored twice in the second and one more in the third for an early 3-0 lead.
To start the second inning, Levi Ney reached on walk. He came in to score on a double to left center by Trevor Kattre for a 1-0 lead. A Brett Benesh fly ball sent Kattre to third, which would come in to score on a sacrifice bunt by Tyler Jacobson to stretch the lead to 2-0.
The Pioneers added to its lead when Ney drew a bases loaded walk to score Luther for a 3-0 advantage. UW-Platteville looked to add to its lead with the bases loaded but was unable to do so as a fly out and a ground out ended the inning. A RBI ground out by pinch hitter Jared Baroni stretched the lead to 4-0.
UW-Superior took advantage of a UW-Platteville miscue in the seventh to cut the deficit to 4-1. The Yellow Jackets began to mount a threat in the eighth off reliever Grant Oldenburg. The Yellow Jackets got a one-out single by Shaun Marshall, who would move into scoring position with a stolen base. Next, Williamson singled up the middle and UW-Superior challenged the Pioneers’ outfield with a play at the plate. The relay from Charlie Beckman in center to Tyler Jacobson at short to Bobby Patton at catcher got a sliding Marshall at the plate for the second out of the inning (pictured below).
In the ninth, UW-Superior started the inning with three-straight singles to load the bases. Next, a sacrifice fly got the first out of the inning but reduced the Pioneers’ lead to 4-2. The speedy Yellow Jackets moved the tying run into scoring position with a double steal to put runners on second and third. Next, UW-Superior plated its second run of the inning on a UW-Platteville error to trim the lead to one, 4-3. But, Grant Oldenburg got a fly out to preserve the win and pick up his second save of the season.
Offensively, for UW-Platteville, Trevor Kattre went 2-for-4 with a run and a RBI and for UW-Oshkosh; Mitch Loegering went 3-for-4 to lead the Yellow Jackets.
The two teams will wrap up the series on Monday with a doubleheader at noon at Kendall Murray Field.