Baseball Results (May 26)
(1) Wright State 11, (4) UIC 3
(2) Milwaukee 9, (3) Valparaiso (6)
(3) Valparaiso 4, (4) UIC 2
Friday, May 27 Schedule
12:00 p.m. - (2) Milwaukee vs. (1) Wright State
4:00 p.m. - (3) Valparaiso vs. Loser of 12:00 p.m. game
(1) Wright State 11, (4) UIC 3
Wright State scored 11 runs in the span of four innings to erase an early 2-0 deficit in defeating UIC, 11-3, Thursday morning in the top-seed's first game at the 2016 Horizon League baseball championship.
he Flames scored a pair of runs with two outs in the first and it stayed that way until the Raiders tied it in the second. A Sean Murphy single and walks to Gabe Snyder and Daniel Arthur loaded the bases and JD Orr followed with a RBI single through the left side of the infield. One out later, Matt Morrow drew a walk to force in Snyder with the tying run.
WSU then went in front to stay with five runs in the fourth. An Orr triple, a John Brodner infield hit and a Morrow walk loaded the bases and a Mitch Roman grounder drove in Orr. After a Ryan Fucci walk reloaded the bases, Murphy doubled to left center to plate two and the final two runs came in on a throwing error.
The Raiders extended the margin with four more in the fifth. Peyton Burdick doubled in two runs and Roman and Fucci each had RBI singles.
Jesse Scholtens (10-1) pitched seven innings to pick up the win, scattering 11 hits and a walk in allowing just three runs while striking out five. With the decision, Scholtens becomes the first 10-game winner in a season for Wright State since Kyle Kearcher won 10 in 2007.
At the plate, Murphy finished with three hits, two RBI and two runs scored while Fucci and Orr each had two hits, Roman two RBI and two runs scored , Burdick two RBI and Morrow two runs scored.
(2) Milwaukee 9, (3) Valparaiso 6
Horizon League Player of the Year Daulton Varsho belted a three-run home run in the bottom of the seventh inning to give second-seed Milwaukee its first lead of the game and the Panthers never looked back in defeating third-seed Valparaiso, 9-6, Thursday afternoon.
The Panthers (32-24) trailed the Crusaders (28-27) by scores of 4-2 and 5-3 but went ahead on Varsho's big hit and tacked on more insurance runs from there to advance in the winner's bracket of the Horizon League Tournament.
"He's the player of the year," Milwaukee head coach Scott Doffek said. "He stepped up today and picked us up when we really needed him."
Varsho's one swing turned the game around and the offense did not let up. In all, five runs were scored in the decisive inning on six hits, with Eric Solberg and Ian Ross both adding key two-out, two-strike RBI singles in the rally.
"Those are huge," Doffek said. "This is a hitter's environment and all tournament there have been a lot of runs scored. A one-run lead is nothing. To come up with those two big hits gave us come cushion and we needed it."
Billy Quirke jumpstarted the scoring with a one-out double and was chased to third on a single back up the middle of the bat of Chris Kelly. Varsho then drilled an 0-1 pitch to the opposite field for his eighth home run of the season, bringing the Panther fans in attendance loudly to their feet.
Jake Tuttle came on in relief and got out of a huge jam in the bottom of the eighth, striking out a pair of Crusaders after a hit batter and error had loaded the bases. He finished with four K's in 1.2 innings to record his fifth save of the year.
That made a winner out of Brian Keller (10-3), who earned his 10th straight victory on the season. He also added some history, striking out his 239th batter of his career in the top of the seventh to break Quintin Oldenburg's (1998-2002) program record of 238.
He finished with no walks and four K's, allowing 11 hits in 7.1 innings. He also set the season record for wins, becoming the first-ever Panther to reach double figures. The record of nine had been set three times, most recently by Aaron Sorenson in 2005.
"Valpo is a good lineup," Doffek said. "They didn't throw any at bats away and barreled a lot of balls. Brian's stuff was a little flat today but he still did what he does. He gave up five runs, which doesn't sound great, but in these conditions it wasn't terrible. He gave us a chance to win, then Varsho gets the big homer and Tuttle did an outstanding job in some pretty high-pressure situations to execute some pitches."
Varsho, named the Horizon League Player of the Year on Tuesday, finished with two hits, two runs scored and four RBI. Luke Meeteer had two hits, drove in two, scored a run and stole his 25th base of the year. Quirke had two hits and scored three times while Nick Unes also added a 2-for-4 day, driving in another insurance run in the eighth.
The Panthers jumped ahead immediately, plating a pair in the top of the first on a couple of hits. Quirke singled to lead off, Varsho walked and Meeteer chased them both home on a double down the left field line.
The Crusaders responded two innings later, scoring three times in the third to grab a 3-2 lead. A hit batter and double started the rally and a flare down the left field line fell just fair and scored both. They would take the one-run lead following back-to-back groundouts.
Haas settled down after the first inning and worked through the Panther offense quickly into the fifth. Following a one-out single by Quirke that ended a streak of nine set down in a row, Varsho just missed a two-run opposite-field home run, settling for a double that made it 4-3 at the time. Following an intentional walk to Meeteer, Milwaukee could get no closer.
Valpo responded quickly, pushing the advantage back to two runs in the top of the sixth. Nolan Lodden found the hole in the right side to plate one and make it 5-3 and give the Crusaders back the two-run cushion they held until Varsho's heroics.
Lodden (3-for-5, 3 RBI) and Daniel Delaney (3-for-5) led the Crusader offense. Milwaukee tagged starter Trevor Haas (5-2) with just his second loss of the season, scoring eight runs on eight hits in his 6.2 innings of work. The contest also featured a Horizon League Tournament record of seven hit batters combined.
(3) Valparaiso 4, (4) UIC 2
In the second elimination game in as many days for both teams, Valparaiso overcame a game-opening home run by UIC to defeat the Flames, 4-2, to stay alive at the Horizon League championship.
Ryan Fritze slammed the door shut, punching out four Flames over the eighth and ninth innings for his seventh save of the season.
The tilt got off to a squeamish start for Foreman and the Crusaders. UIC shortstop Cody Bohanek belted the fourth pitch of the game over the left-field wall for a leadoff home run. To Foreman's credit, the right-hander shook it off and didn't allow a Flame past first base until the fifth.
Nate Palace wiped away the 1-0 hole with a bases-loaded rocket to left that plated Nolan Lodden and Shea Molitor. Palace's double was the fourth consecutive hit recorded against UIC starter Connor Ryan.
Senior Jeff Edwards kept the hit parade rolling when he led off the second with a single. Chase Dawson traded places with him after a fielder's choice. The Crusaders went back to the well with the hit-and-run with James Stea at the plate and it paid off. The center fielder sliced a double to right that sent Dawson sprinting 270 feet home.
The Crusaders led 3-1 after two innings of play.
The two teams traded fifth-inning tallies. Bohanek accounted for his second run of the contest with a sac fly to center. Foreman fled the frame without any further damage.
Josh Clark returned the two-run cushion to Foreman and the Crusaders with a double to the gap in left-center that plated Lodden.
Foreman showed his appreciation by blanking the Flames over the sixth and seventh innings. He turned the ball over to Fritze in the eighth. Fritze carried the torch admirably, striking out the side in the eighth and coaxing a game-ending foul out from Scott Ota.
Foreman scattered five hits and walked just two during his tenure on the hill. His 100th and final pitch of the night resulted in his third strikeout. He improved to 2-2 on the season while lowering his ERA to 4.12. Fritze was rewarded with his third save in as many outings. He hasn't allowed a hit in his last 4 1/3 innings.