Pitchers Nick McLees and Colan Treml combined to allow just one run on eight hits while notching 22 strikeouts in complete-game efforts as the nationally ranked UW-Oshkosh baseball team swept a doubleheader against Illinois Institute of Technology on Friday (May 11) in Carol Stream, Ill.
UW-Oshkosh (30-7, 17-5 WIAC), ranked seventh in the NCAA Division III by D3baseball.com, claimed won the opener, 4-0, behind Treml's fourth career shutout before McLees yielded just two hits during a 6-1 victory in the nightcap.
The Titans, who reached 30 wins for the first time since 2007, head into their regular-season-ending doubleheader one game behind UW-Whitewater (28-5, 17-3 WIAC), the top-ranked team in the country, in the league standings. UW-Oshkosh last earned at least a share of the conference championship in 2009.
Treml (9-0) gave up six hits – all singles – and collected a career-high 12 strikeouts without issuing a walk on the way to becoming the third Titan pitcher to notch four shutouts. Treml, who registered three shutouts last season, was perfect through three innings Friday.
McLees (8-2) was also perfect through three innings and took a no-hitter into the seventh inning. McLees, who faced three batters over the minimum, finished his third complete game of the year with 10 strikeouts – one shy of his career high.
UW-Oshkosh supported the pitching gems from Treml and McLees by pounding out 24 hits, including 14 in the opener. The Titans have produced double-digit hit totals 28 times this season, including 12 of their last 13 contests. UW-Oshkosh, which has a WIAC-leading 96 doubles on the year, extended its streak with at least one extra-base hit to 11 games.
The Titans received hits from all nine spots in the batting order during the opener and had four multiple hit performances in the nightcap. Taylor Grimm went 4-for-5 in the first game for UW-Oshkosh, while Andy Brahier had five total hits to extend his hitting streak to 14 games.
In Friday's opener, UW-Oshkosh gave Treml all the support he needed with a run in the bottom of the first inning as Grimm drove in Jack Paulson with a one-out single. Paulson led off the frame with a single and stole second base.
The Titans tacked on single runs in the third, fifth and seventh innings. Alex Koch lifted a sacrifice fly for a 2-0 advantage, Grimm added an RBI double and Brahier capped the scoring with a run-scoring single. Grimm upped his WIAC-leading total to 50 RBIs on the year, becoming the first Titan to drive in 50 since Bobby Kachel in 2013.
Treml did not allow a baserunner until Michael Courtney singled to second base to lead off the Scarlet Hawk fourth inning. Courtney advanced to third base with one out, but Treml struck out the next two batters to hold Illinois Institute of Technology scoreless.
Illinois Institute of Technology (14-24, 5-17 WIAC) began the sixth frame with back-to-back hits by David Navarro and Courtney. However, Treml kept his shutout intact by inducing a groundout and a flyout before stymying the Scarlet Hawks' best scoring opportunity with a strikeout. Treml allowed just two more hits over the final three innings en route earning his WIAC-best ninth win and fourth complete game in 11 starts.
Brahier went 3-for-4 for the Titans while Courtney had a pair of hits for the Scarlet Hawks.
Scarlet Hawks starting pitcher James Tarala (4-6) suffered the loss after surrendering four runs on 14 hits in seven innings.
During the second contest, UW-Oshkosh scored four runs on four hits in the second inning to back McLees' stellar outing. The Titans then added two insurance runs in the eighth frame.
McLees did not allow a ball out of the infield until Navarro flew out to end the third inning. Illinois Institute of Technology gained its first baserunner via a one-out fielding error by Titans third baseman Jonathan Selchow in the top of the fourth inning, but a groundout and a strikeout left a Scarlet Hawk stranded at second base.
McLees retired eight consecutive batters before Jacob Sorenson broke up McLees's no-hit bid with a leadoff single to shortstop in the seventh inning. Ted Howell followed with a double, and Sorenson came in to score the Scarlet Hawks' lone run of the day on a groundout. McLees, who recorded all but four of his outs on the infield, went on to set down the final eight batters he faced on the way to his fourth career complete game.
UW-Oshkosh's four-run second inning featured a two-run single from Sam Schwenn, an RBI infield single by Paulson, and a double-steal by Paulson and Schwenn that resulted in a run following a throwing error by Navarro, the Illinois Institute of Technology catcher.
Selchow hit a two-run single in the eighth inning to conclude the scoring.
Illinois Institute of Technology starting pitcher Ryan Cantlin (4-5) was charged with the loss, yielding six runs (five earned) on 10 hits and three walks in 7.2 innings.
Treml moved into a tie for second in UW-Oshkosh history with four shutouts. Jordan Timm registered a UW-Oshkosh-record five shutouts from 2001-04. Jeremy Rubens tossed four shutouts for the Titans between 2007-11. UW-Stevens Point's Chuck Ritzenthaler holds the WIAC mark with six shutouts from 1966-67.
Brahier now ranks 20th in WIAC history in both career hits (211) and doubles (41). Paulson increased his school-record total to 108 career walks and tied for fifth in Titan history with 65 stolen bases.
UW-Oshkosh is ranked in the D3baseball.com top 10 for the first time since the poll debuted in 2010. The Titans have achieved their highest ranking in any poll since listing second by the Collegiate Baseball Newspaper on April 12, 2004.
Illinois Institute of Technology and UW-Oshkosh met for the first time since 1979. The Scarlet Hawks, who joined the WIAC this season in baseball only, will compete in the Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference next year.
The Titans wrap up the regular season Saturday (May 12) with a pair of games against Illinois Institute of Technology in Carol Stream. The four-game series is being held at Wheaton College's Lee Pfund Stadium due to an April winter storm that caused structural damage at UW-Oshkosh's Tiedemann Field.