Jack Paulson drove in the decisive run with an eighth-inning single and Jesse Sustachek finished a complete-game pitching performance with a pair of strikeouts as the UW-Oshkosh baseball team won its fourth straight game by defeating University of St. Thomas (Minn.), 3-2, on Thursday (March 23) in Auburndale, Fla.
Paulson broke a 1-1 tie by hitting safely to right field to score Dylan Ott and Jensen Hinton with one out in the eighth inning. UW-Oshkosh (6-4) loaded the bases for Paulson's at-bat as Ott singled to left field, Hinton reached safely on a bunt and Sam Schwenn was hit by a pitch. The Tommies prevented any further damage by getting the next two Titans that followed Ott's at-bat to strike out.
Sustachek (2-1) pitched his first complete-game victory in a UW-Oshkosh uniform by scattering eight hits with seven strikeouts and one walk.
Sustachek faced 36 batters in the nine-inning contest, including just three in the third, fourth and seventh frames. He pitched to only four batters in three innings and five in the three others. With one out and a runner on second base, Sustachek struck out University of St. Thomas pinch-hitters David Stephens and Rock Cates to end the ninth inning.
University of St. Thomas (4-8) took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning on Jake Smith's single to center field. The Tommies had two hits in the inning, with the other belonging to Zach Gottfredsen, who led off the game with a single and scored on Smith's hit.
UW-Oshkosh tied the score by getting one run on three hits in the bottom of the first inning. Following a fly out by Paulson, Zack Radde singled to right field and advanced to second base on an infield single by Logan Reckert. After Radde got picked off second base, Johnny Eagan walked before Tyler Kozlowski singled to left field to score Reckert.
Pitching by Sustachek and University of St. Thomas starter Ryan Zimmerman dominated the next five innings as both the Titans and Tommies went scoreless. The only scoring threat in those five innings was the fifth frame, when University of St. Thomas loaded the bases before hitting into an inning-ending double play.
The Tommies sliced their deficit to 3-2 by scoring one run on two hits in the eighth inning. Following a pair of infield outs, Smith singled to left field and scored on a deep double to center field by Sam Cobbs.
UW-Oshkosh had eight hits, one each by seven different players. Schwenn doubled in the second inning for the Titans' lone extra-base hit.
University of St. Thomas had its eight hits accumulated by the two apiece from Cobbs, Gottfredsen, Smith and Jake Sharp.
Zimmermann (2-2) pitched all eight innings for the Tommies and took the loss after allowing the Titans eight hits. He struck out nine and walked one.
UW-Oshkosh closes its eight-game trip to Florida by playing first-time opponent Union College (N.Y.) on Friday (March 24) in Auburndale.
Photo by Jennifer Zuberbier