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Titans Outlast Pioneers In High-Scoring Contests

Andy Brahier had six hits and seven runs batted in as the Titans swept the Pioneers.
Andy Brahier had six hits and seven runs batted in as the Titans swept the Pioneers.

Andy Brahier and Alex Koch combined for 15 runs batted in to lead the nationally ranked UW-Oshkosh baseball to a pair of high-scoring victories over UW-Platteville on Sunday (April 22) in Decatur, Ill.

UW-Oshkosh (18-4, 5-2 WIAC), ranked 16th in the NCAA Division III by D3baseball.com, outlasted the Pioneers by scores of 15-10 in the first game and 16-12 during the second contest. The Titans completed the four-game season series sweep after downing UW-Platteville, 9-0 and 9-5, Saturday (April 21) in Decatur. The weekend series was played in Illinois because UW-Platteville's field was unplayable due to a winter storm.

The Titans collected 38 hits Sunday, including a season-high 22 during the nightcap. The Titans, who hit seven doubles, one triple and four home runs, scored in 12 of the 18 innings on the day, including at least two runs in nine of the frames.

Brahier concluded Sunday 6-for-12 at the plate with two doubles, one home run and seven runs batted in while Koch went 6-for-12 with one triple, one home run and eight RBIs.

UW-Oshkosh's Dylan Ott added six hits on the day. Taylor Grimm and Logan Reckert contributed five hits apiece. Ott and Zack Radde, who chipped in four hits, both launched home runs Sunday for the Titans, who swept the season series over the Pioneers for the second straight year.

The Titans have won their last 10 meetings with UW-Platteville and 21 of past 23 matchups since 2012.

In Sunday's first contest, UW-Oshkosh jumped out to a 13-2 lead in the fifth inning on the strength of Koch's seven runs batted in.

Koch gave the Titans a 3-0 advantage with a run-scoring single in the first inning before launching a grand slam for a 7-0 lead in the third frame. Koch added RBI singles in the fourth and fifth innings. His seven runs batted in are the most in one game by a Titan since Grimm drove in seven runs against UW-Stout on April 10, 2016.

UW-Platteville (6-20, 0-10 WIAC) pulled within 14-10 after eight innings, but UW-Oshkosh added an insurance run in the top of the ninth and the Pioneers left a pair of runners on base in both the last two frames.

Koch concluded the first game 4-for-6, including his fourth home run of the season. Brahier, Ott, Jack Paulson and Noah Polcyn each had two of the Titans' 16 hits. Radde's first home run of the season – a two-run shot – extended the UW-Oshkosh advantage to 12-2 in the fifth inning.

Titans starting pitcher Jesse Sustachek (2-1) picked up the win after allowing five runs on seven hits in six innings.

UW-Platteville's Connor Crotty and Josh Moses both homered and paced the team with three hits apiece. Ross Krist and Collin Mormann both recorded two of the Pioneers' 14 hits.

Pioneers starting pitcher Darren Strasburg (0-2) suffered the loss, surrendering nine runs (seven earned) on six hits and four walks in three-plus innings.

In the nightcap, UW-Platteville owned leads of 4-3 in the fourth inning and 10-7 after six frames, but UW-Oshkosh answered with a seven-run seventh inning to reclaim the lead for good at 14-12.

The Titans' seven-run outburst featured a three-run homer from Brahier that tied the score at 10 and a two-out, two-run single by Grimm that increased the lead to 14-10.

The teams combined to use 12 pitchers and strand 31 baserunners in Sunday's second game, including eight pitchers used and 18 runners left on base by UW-Oshkosh.

Brahier, Grimm, Ott and Reckert all contributed four hits for the Titans. Brahier drove in five runs while Grimm and Polcyn added three RBIs apiece. Ott, who hit his third home run of the year, knotted the score at 4 with a solo shot in the fifth inning.

Mormann went 3-for-5 to lead UW-Platteville, which also received two hits each from Crotty, Krist, Brendon Reifsteck and Mitchell Susa. Reifsteck hit a home run that cut the Pioneer deficit to 14-11 in the seventh inning. Susa drove in a team-leading three runs.

UW-Platteville pulled within 14-12 in the home half of the seventh inning on a run-scoring double from Mormann, but the Pioneers left the potential tying runs in scoring position during the frame.

UW-Oshkosh tacked on a pair of insurance runs in the eighth inning as Koch delivered an RBI triple and scored on a single by Reckert.

Scott Gorsuch, the Titans' fifth pitcher of the game, was credited with his first win of the season. Lucas Gregory retired the only two batters he faced to notch his first save of the year.

UW-Platteville relief pitcher Tyler Vogel (1-4) was charged with the loss after yielding six runs (five earned) on seven hits in two-plus innings.

UW-Oshkosh plays a doubleheader at third-ranked UW-Whitewater on Wednesday (April 25).