Andy Brahier, Johnny Eagan, Taylor Grimm and Zack Radde each collected three hits in the nightcap as the UW-Oshkosh baseball team split a doubleheader at Saint Mary's University on Sunday (April 2) in Winona, Minn.
UW-Oshkosh (8-7) suffered a 4-1 setback during the seven-inning first game before securing an 8-3 victory in the nine-inning second contest.
The Titans were limited to four hits in the opener but rallied to overcome a 2-1, sixth-inning deficit in the second contest with three runs in the seventh frame and four more runs in the eighth.
UW-Oshkosh outhit Saint Mary's University, 19-16, including 15-7 during the second game. Johnny Eagan, who has reached base in 18 consecutive games, went a combined 4-for-7 at the plate to pace the Titans.
In Sunday's second game, UW-Oshkosh starting pitcher Jesse Sustachek didn't allow a hit until there were two outs in the fourth inning, but Ben Buerkle smacked a two-out, two-run homer off Sustachek to give Saint Mary's University a 2-1 advantage in the bottom of the sixth inning.
Buerkle, who launched his team-leading sixth home run of the year, entered the day pacing the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference with a .554 batting average.
UW-Oshkosh responded with three runs on three hits and one Cardinal error in the top of the seventh inning. With Titans at first and second bases with two outs, Eagan tied the game at 2 with a single. A subsequent infield error by the Cardinals let the go-ahead run to score, and Brahier then followed with a single to drive home Eagan with the eventual game-winning run.
The Titans tacked on four runs on five hits and one Saint Mary's University outfield error in the eighth inning as Sam Schwenn hit a run-scoring single, Tyler Kozlowski lifted a sacrifice fly and Reckert delivered a two-out, two-run single to increase the UW-Oshkosh lead to 8-2.
Sustacheck (3-1) pitched into the eighth inning to earn the win, scattering seven hits and allowing three runs in 7.1 innings. He recorded two strikeouts and issued two walks en route to improving his career record to 10-5.
Saint Mary's University (10-9) touched Sustacheck for a run on two hits in the eighth inning, but Titan relief pitchers Scott Gorsuch and Nick McLees both recorded one out in the eighth frame as the Cardinals left the bases loaded.
McLees went on to pitch a perfect ninth inning to notch his first career save. He did not allow a baserunner across the final 1.1 innings while recording one strikeout.
Each of the first four Cardinals pitchers surrendered runs as starter Ryan Wolfe held the Titans to just one run on six hits while recording four strikeouts during the first six innings.
Austin Jacobs (1-3) took the loss for Saint Mary's University after giving up three runs (one earned) on three hits and one walk in relief of Wolfe. Ezekiel Chamblee was tagged with two runs in one-third of an inning, and Nathan Mathwig gave up two runs (one earned) on three hits in two-thirds of an inning.
Will Matthews had a pair of hits to lead Saint Mary's University.
In Sunday's first contest, UW-Oshkosh opened the scoring just three batters into the game, but Saint Mary's University starting pitcher Jesse Barron and closer Mathwig combined to limit the Titans to just two hits the rest of the way.
Chris Bartosz drove in the final three of the Cardinals' runs, including an RBI groundout that tied the score at 1 in the bottom of the second inning. Bartosz also had run-scoring singles in the fourth and sixth innings.
UW-Oshkosh took a 1-0 lead as Kozlowski doubled with one out in the first inning, and Reckert followed with a single to score Kozlowski. Eagan reached first base via an infield error with two outs in the Titans' first inning. Eagan stole second base and advanced to third on a wild pitch, but Barron got a groundout to limit the damage.
Barron retired eight consecutive UW-Oshkosh batters until allowing consecutive one-out singles to Eagan and Brahier in the fourth inning. However, Barron induced a double play off the bat of Dylan Ott, and the Titans did not have a baserunner in scoring position for the remainder of the game.
Saint Mary's University tied the score at 1 on just one hit in the second inning against UW-Oshkosh starting pitcher Jacob Pohlman. Bob Kinne led off the inning with a single, and Zach Slowiak followed with a walk. A sacrifice bunt advanced the runners to second and third bases for Bartosz, who scored Kinne with a groundout to shortstop.
The Cardinals took the lead for good as Joe Seegers singled and Matthews doubled with one out in the home half of the third inning. Buerkle then hit a run-scoring groundout against Pohlman to give Saint Mary's University a 2-1 advantage.
Slowiak led off the Cardinals' fourth inning with a double and advanced to third base on a wild pitch. Bartosz delivered a one-out single to score Slowiak, and Weinberg followed with a single to end Pohlman's outing.
Alex Larson relieved Pohlman and recorded two quick outs to strand a pair of Cardinals.
Saint Mary's University capped the scoring in the seventh inning as Slowiak drew a leadoff walk against Larson and reached third base on a double by Jake Berry. Bartosz then rapped a single to score Slowiak, but Larson evaded the jam by tagging a runner at the plate following a wild pitch before recording a strikeout and a flyout.
Barron set down seven straight UW-Oshkosh batters until he hit Eagan with a pitch to begin the seventh inning. Barron then retired Brahier and Ott before being relieved by Mathwig, who picked up his second save of the season by notching a strikeout to end the game.
Bartosz and Matthews both had two of the Cardinals' nine hits.
Barron (1-1) earned his second career win by limiting the Titans to one run on four hits in 6.2 innings pitched. He registered one strikeout without issuing a walk.
Pohlman (1-1) was charged with the loss, yielding three runs on seven hits and one walk in 3.1 innings pitched.
UW-Oshkosh heads to Mequon for a game against Concordia University Wisconsin on Wednesday (April 5).
Photo by Jennifer Zuberbier