No. 12 University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point completed a series sweep of host University of Wisconsin-Platteville on Sunday afternoon with a 10-2 win in game one and a 3-2 win in 13 innings in the nightcap.
The four-game sweep propels the Pointers into the top spot in the WIAC standings, a half game ahead of UW-Whitewater heading into the final weekend of action. The Pointers are now 25-8 overall and 16-4 in the WIAC and the four losses extends the Pioneer losing streak to nine games, who fall to 8-27 overall and 6-18 in the WIAC. Between games, UW-Platteville recognized its four seniors - Brett Benesh, Justin Crotty, Aaron Hopson and Kevin Poterek.
Cody Koback of UW-Stevens Point was a home run shy of the cycle with a 3-for-3 effort with four runs scored and a first inning RBI to lead a 13 hit attack for the Pointers. Four more Pointers had two hits in the win for UW-Stevens Point.
Despite nine hits by the Pioneers, they were victimized by leaving 11 runners on base in the defeat. Charlie Beckman and Brett Benesh each had two hits to lead the nine-hit effort for UW-Platteville.
Both teams scored in the first inning as UW-Stevens Point raced out to an early 2-1 advantage. The two runs gave UW-Stevens Point starter Scott Williams plenty of support. Williams received additional support came in the third and seventh inning when they plated three more runs to raise his record to 8-2. In the win, Williams pitched seven innings, allowing just six hits, walking three and striking out 12.
The Pioneers got back on the scoreboard off reliever Brad Stroik, who surrendered back-to-back singles to start the eighth. A fielder’s choice by Zach Demmon plated Brett Benesh for the second run of the contest. UW-Platteville starter Mike Hooker went six innings, scattering 10 hits, allowing eight runs – six earned and striking out three in the loss to fall 1-3.
It took 13 innings to decide and there was plenty of excitement throughout the contest but it was UW-Stevens Point, who prevailed with the 3-2 win.
Both teams scored in the first inning but the Pointers went ahead 2-1 in the third inning. After three-straight singles, UW-Stevens Point got a one-out RBI single from Jirschele to plate the go-ahead run.
UW-Platteville stranded four runners over the course of the next three innings before tying it in the seventh. Jesse Wiley started the inning with a single up the middle; he was squeezed over to second by Charlie Beckman. Next, Brett Benesh walked to put runners on first and second; however, the Pointers got a strikeout for the second out of the inning. However, the Pioneers managed to tie it on a RBI bloop single by Levi Ney to tie the game at 2.
The Pioneers stranded a runner in the eighth and UW-Stevens Point left two in the ninth as the game went into extra innings. In the tenth, the Pioneers managed to load the bases with just one out. However, UW-Stevens Point got out of the jam with a strike out and fly out to end the threat.
The Pioneers had two base runners in the 11th and 12th innings but were kept off the scoreboard. In the 13th, three-straight singles by the Pointers put the visitors ahead by a 3-2 margin. A strike out and ground out held the damage to just one.
In the bottom half of the inning, Trevor Kattre (pictured at the top) doubled to left field with one out. Next, Levi Ney walked to prompt a UW-Stevens Point pitching change. Next, Aaron Hopson reached on a fielder’s choice as Ney was forced out at second and advanced Kattre to third. The Pioneers went to the bench in search of the game-tying run but the Pointers’ closed out the game with a strikeout to seal the win.
Offensively, the Pioneers had 13 hits but stranded 18 runners on base in the loss. Kattre had a career-high four hits and tied a school record with seven at bats with Aaron Hopson, who also had two hits in the defeat. Grant Oldenburg was the tough-luck loser in six innings of relief, scattering six hits, allowing a run – earned and struck out one to fall to 0-2.
The Pointers’ Ryan Iverson pitched eight innings of eight-hit relief, striking out six and allowing eight hits to raise his record to 3-0. Eric Van Beck pitched the final 2/3 innings for his first save. Justin Jirschele had three of the 12 hits to lead UW-Stevens Point, who left nine on base.
The contest wraps up WIAC play for the Pioneers, who will conclude the season with a doubleheader on Wednesday, May 4 at Edgewood, on Saturday, May 7 at Dubuque before the home finale on Sunday, May 8 at Kendall Murray Field.
Box Score from Game 1
Box Score from Game 2