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Titans Sweep Raiders In Final WIAC Tune-up

Alex Koch drove in six runs during the Titans' doubleheader with the Raiders, including four in the second contest.
Alex Koch drove in six runs during the Titans' doubleheader with the Raiders, including four in the second contest.

Alex Koch drove in six total runs, including a career-high four in the nightcap, as the nationally ranked UW-Oshkosh baseball team increased its winning streak to 12 games by sweeping a doubleheader from Milwaukee School of Engineering on Friday (March 30) at Tiedemann Field.

UW-Oshkosh (13-2), ranked 25th in the NCAA Div. III by D3baseball.com, defeated the Raiders by scores of 12-2 in eight innings during the opener and 10-7 in the second contest. The Titans overcame deficits of 2-0 in the fourth inning of the first game and 7-5 during the eighth frame of the nightcap.

The Titans' 12-game winning streak matches their longest since reeling off 14 straight victories in 2005. UW-Oshkosh, which also won 12 consecutive games in 2008, is outscoring opponents by a combined 121-25 score during its current streak.

Koch went 2-for-5 with a triple and two runs batted in during Friday's first game before going 2-for-3 with a double, a stolen base and four RBIs in the second contest.

In the first game of the day, Titans starting pitcher Lucas Gregory and Mason LeBreck from Milwaukee School of Engineering were locked in a hitless dual until Ryan Newman led off the Raider fourth inning with a double. Gregory then issued a walk ahead of a one-out, two-run double from Julian Sonn.

LeBreck kept his no-hit bid intact for 4.2 innings before Logan Reckert singled to center field. Jonathan Selchow and Noah Polcyn followed with singles to load the bases. LeBreck uncorked a wild pitch that allowed Reckert to score, and Jack Paulson gave UW-Oshkosh the lead for good at 3-2 with a two-run single.

Gregory (2-1), making his second start of the year and the fourth start in his 42 career pitching appearances, allowed just the two fourth-inning doubles and three walks across six innings to earn the win. Gregory, who recorded six strikeouts, was perfect through three innings and did not allow a runner past first base during the fifth and sixth frames.

UW-Oshkosh's Jon Maday pitched two scoreless innings of relief to preserve the win.

The Titans tacked on three runs on three hits in the sixth inning before invoking the 10-run rule with six runs on four hits in the eighth.

Reckert highlighted the UW-Oshkosh sixth inning with a two-run double. Polcyn, Zack Radde and Sam Schwenn delivered run-scoring hits during the eighth frame before Koch laced a two-run triple and Jensen Hinton ended the game with a one-out grounder that plated Koch with the Titans' 12th run.

UW-Oshkosh outhit the Raiders, 12-4.

LeBreck (1-1) was charged with the loss, yielding three runs on four hits in five innings pitched. A pair of Raider relievers combined to cede nine runs (eight earned) on 10 hits over the final 2.1 innings.

UW-Oshkosh's winning streak was in jeopardy during the nightcap after Milwaukee School of Engineering claimed a 7-5 lead by scoring five runs without the aid of a hit in the top of the eighth inning.

The Raiders' five-run outburst was fueled by three hit batters, two walks, two errors, two wild pitches and one passed ball. The Titans used four pitchers during the inning as all five Milwaukee School of Engineering runs were unearned. The Raiders took a 6-5 advantage when two scored on a two-out wild pitch and extended their lead to 7-5 on a passed ball.

UW-Oshkosh, which did not give up a hit after the fifth inning, answered with five runs on six hits in the home half of the eighth frame. Radde sparked the comeback with a pinch-hit double to lead off the inning. Polcyn walked and Paulson singled to load the bases for Taylor Grimm, who singled with one out to pull the Titans within 7-6. Koch then followed with a two-run single for an 8-7 lead before Hinton and Reckert added RBI singles to cap the scoring.

Maday (2-0), who entered to record the final out of the eighth inning, struck out the side in the ninth to earn the win.

Milwaukee School of Engineering (8-9) took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning on a one-out double from Garrett Willems that scored Ryan Newman, who led off the game with a single. UW-Oshkosh responded with two runs in the home half of the first inning on consecutive one-out RBI hits from Grimm and Koch.

The Raiders knotted the score at 2 with a leadoff home run by Nick Stricker in the fifth inning, but the Titans reclaimed a 5-2 advantage with a three-run seventh frame that included a sacrifice fly from Koch and a two-out, two RBI triple by Hinton.

Grimm went 3-for-4 with three runs and two RBIs in the nightcap while Hinton, Koch and Paulson each added two of the Titans' 12 hits. Hinton matched his season high with three runs batted in.

Justin Binkman had two of the Raiders' seven hits.

Raiders relief pitcher Nat Tremore (0-2) suffered the loss, surrendering three runs on two hits and a walk without recording an out in the eighth inning.

UW-Oshkosh starting pitcher Jesse Sustachek gave up two runs and registered a season-high six strikeouts over the first five innings.

UW-Oshkosh has won each of its eight meetings with Milwaukee School of Engineering since the series began in 1999.

The Titans hosts UW-Stevens Point for a WIAC-opening doubleheader Tuesday (April 3) at Tiedemann Field.

Photo courtesy of Larry Radloff, d3photography.com