UW-La Crosse won a pair of home games over the UW-Oshkosh baseball team by scores of 9-6 and 8-1 to conclude their season series Monday (April 15).
UW-La Crosse (14-8, 10-2 WIAC), which also won two games over UW-Oshkosh on Sunday, earned its first four-game sweep of the Titans since winning the league title in 2016. The Eagles are still a game back in the loss column behind league-leading UW-Whitewater (16-6, 9-1 WIAC).
UW-Oshkosh (13-14, 6-8 WIAC) remains fourth in the conference standings with 10 league games left before the four-team league tournament.
UW-La Crosse, the best defensive team in the WIAC with a .972 fielding percentage, did not commit an error and turned six double plays Monday, including five that ended innings. UW-Oshkosh collected 15 hits and drew seven walks, but the Eagles' standout defensive effort led to the Titans stranding just nine total baserunners during the doubleheader.
The Eagles pounded out 27 hits of their own Monday as Zach Carney and Nate Heili accounted for four apiece while Tommy Nelsen, Alex Robson, Mitch Sutton and Cal Tully each added three.
In Monday's first game, UW-Oshkosh claimed a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning on Radde's leadoff home run off of Eagles pitcher Jack Mizgalski. The homer was Radde's second of the year and sixth career.
Titans starting pitcher Colan Treml maintained the slim lead until the bottom of the third inning, when Sutton tied the score with a run-scoring groundout and Brennan Schmitt gave the Eagles the lead for good with a two-out RBI double.
UW-La Crosse upped its lead to 7-1 following a five-run fourth frame that featured a two-out, three-run homer from Sutton.
UW-Oshkosh cut its deficit to 7-5 with a pair of runs in both the fifth and sixth innings as Matt McNabb delivered a two-run double during the fifth, and Hinton and Eric Modaff hit RBI singles in the sixth.
The Titans once again pulled within two runs at 8-6 on a solo home run by Staniske in the top of the eighth frame, but the Eagles tacked on an insurance run during the home half of the inning and ended the game with their fourth double play in the ninth.
Mizgalski (1-1) picked up the win despite allowing five runs on nine hits across the first six innings. He walked one and struck out five.
Caleb Willems earned his third save of the year after holding the Titans to one run on two hits in three innings pitched.
Mizgalski and Willems combined to record 25 of their 27 outs on the infield.
Sutton had two hits and five RBIs to pace the Eagles.
Hinton, McNabb, Staniske and Alex Koch all had two of the Titans' 11 hits. Staniske's home run was his second of the season.
Treml (4-4) suffered the loss for UW-Oshkosh, surrendering nine runs (eight earned) on 11 hits and four walks with three strikeouts in 7.1 innings.
In the second game, Eagles starting pitcher Zach Pronschinske held the Titans to just one run on four hits during a complete-game performance. He issued five walks and recorded three strikeouts on the way to improving his record to 2-1 on the year.
Pronschinske and UW-Oshkosh's Chris Atwood were locked in a pitcher's duel through five innings before the Eagles erupted for six runs during the home half of the sixth frame.
UW-La Crosse opened the scoring on an RBI single from Carson Youngquist in the first inning, but the Titans knotted the score at 1 as pinch-hitter Tripp Paris singled to lead off the third frame and came around to score on a wild pitch. However, the Eagles' decisive sixth-inning barrage included run-scoring hits from Nelsen, Carney, Heili and Schmitt.
Nelsen went 3-for-4 as all nine spots in the UW-La Crosse batting order had at least one of the team's 16 hits.
Hinton once again had a pair of hits for UW-Oshkosh.
Atwood (3-4) was charged with the loss, yielding five runs on 11 hits in 5.2 innings pitched. He walked two and struck out five.
UW-Oshkosh returns home to play doubleheaders against UW-Stout on both Friday and Saturday (April 19-20) at Tiedemann Field.
Photo by Jim Lund