Jon Maday pitched into the ninth inning during the second contest as the nationally ranked UW-Oshkosh baseball team split a doubleheader against Illinois Institute of Technology to close out the regular season Saturday (May 12) in Carol Stream, Ill.
UW-Oshkosh (31-8, 18-6), ranked seventh in the NCAA Division III by D3baseball.com, lost the opener, 5-3, before winning the nightcap, 7-1. UW-Oshkosh, which swept a pair of games from the Scarlet Hawks on Friday (May 11), won three of the four meetings between the teams this season by a combined 22-5 score.
The Titans, who are assured to finish no worse than second in the WIAC standings, will learn Monday (May 14) whether they receive one of 18 at-large berths to the 58-team Division III Championship that begins Thursday (May 17). The WIAC, which canceled its postseason tournament due to weather, does not have an automatic bid to this year's national tournament.
UW-Oshkosh is currently alone in second place in the league standings, one game behind UW-Whitewater (29-6, 18-4 WIAC). If UW-Whitewater – the top-ranked team in the country – loses twice to UW-La Crosse (25-13, 15-8 WIAC) in the regular-season finale Sunday (May 13), UW-Oshkosh would secure a share of its first league crown since 2009.
In Saturday's nightcap, UW-Oshkosh built a 4-0 lead after four innings and cruised to victory behind Maday's masterful pitching performance.
Maday, who weathered a rain delay of more than 40 minutes after the third inning, held Illinois Institute of Technology to just one unearned run on three hits – all singles – in 8.2 innings. Maday (4-1) struck out six without issuing a walk during the longest outing of his career.
Paulson had an RBI groundout and Taylor Grimm hit a sacrifice fly to give UW-Oshkosh a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the third inning. The Titans extended their advantage to 4-0 in the fourth frame following run-scoring singles from Paulson and Selchow.
Maday, who recorded all but two of his 26 outs on the infield, retired eight consecutive batters until hitting Nick Worden with a pitch to open the seventh inning. Worden advanced to second base on a passed ball and scored on a single by Zachary Dickey. Maday then set down the next seven Scarlet Hawks before exiting in favor of reliever Scott Gorsuch, who struck out the only batter he faced to conclude the game.
The Titans capped the scoring on an RBI groundout from Selchow and a two-run double by Cummins in the eighth frame.
UW-Oshkosh played error-free defense and turned double plays in the second and seventh innings.
Illinois Institute of Technology starting pitcher Ian Duke (1-6) took the loss after allowing four runs on three hits and two walks in 3.1 innings.
In the first game of the day, the Scarlet Hawks never trailed after scoring a run in the top of the second inning. Illinois Institute of Technology reclaimed a 3-1 advantage in the fifth frame and owned a 5-2 advantage entering the final inning.
Michael Courtney went 3-for-5 to pace the Scarlet Hawks, who also received two of their 12 hits from Orlando Cardenas-Juan and DJ Rybski.
Illinois Institute of Technology starting pitcher John Zalewski (5-3) earned the win, holding the Titans to two runs (one earned) on seven hits in six innings. He walked two and struck out three.
Scarlet Hawks relief pitcher Roberto Carselle picked up his second save of the year despite allowing a run on two hits during the ninth inning.
Paulson, Reckert and Zack Radde each collected two of the Titans' 10 hits.
Titans starting pitcher Jesse Sustachek (4-2) suffered the loss after giving up three runs (two earned) on 10 hits in 6.1 innings. He recorded six strikeouts and walked one.
The teams exchanged runs in the second inning as Cardenas-Juan hit an RBI double for Illinois Institute of Technology and Reckert answered with a run-scoring single.
Illinois Institute of Technology (15-25, 6-18 WIAC) reclaimed the lead for good at 3-1 in the fifth inning following RBI singles from David Navarro and Jacob Sorenson.
The Titans pulled within 3-2 following a sacrifice fly by Dylan Ott in the home half of the sixth inning, but Rybski hit a two-run single in the eighth frame increased the Scarlet Hawk lead to 5-2.
Paulson and Radde singled off Carselle to open the Titan ninth inning. Andy Brahier plated Paulson with a groundout to cut the UW-Oshkosh deficit to 5-3. Alex Koch then reached via a two-out fielding error by Cardenas-Juan at shortstop, but Carselle got Matt McNabb, representing the potential winning run, to fly out to end the game.
UW-Oshkosh finished the game with 12 runners left on base.
The four-game series between the Scarlet Hawks and Titans was held at Wheaton College's Lee Pfund Stadium due to an April winter storm that caused structural damage at UW-Oshkosh's Tiedemann Field.