Logan Reckert hit his first career home run and Colan Treml was dominant in a complete-game pitching effort during the opener as UW-Oshkosh and UW-Whitewater split a pair of games in a matchup of nationally ranked baseball teams Wednesday (April 25) in Whitewater.
UW-Oshkosh (19-5, 6-3 WIAC) won the first game, 5-1, and UW-Whitewater claimed the second contest by an 11-1 score in seven innings. UW-Whitewater is ranked third in the NCAA Division III by D3baseball.com while UW-Oshkosh lists 11th.
The Titans are responsible for both of UW-Whitewater's league losses and home setbacks. UW-Oshkosh and the Warhawks also split a doubleheader in Whitewater on April 11, when UW-Whitewater won the opener, 8-7, and the Titans prevailed, 6-2, in the second game. UW-Oshkosh and UW-Whitewater also split their four-game series in 2016.
UW-Whitewater (18-4, 10-2 WIAC), which fell to 8-2 at home this season, ascended to first in the conference standings – one-half game ahead of UW-Stevens Point (18-7, 10-3), which lost twice to fifth-place UW-Stout (7-16, 4-8) on Wednesday.
In Wednesday's opener Treml improved his record to 7-0 on the season by limiting the prolific UW-Whitewater offense to just three hits. Treml, who walked one and struck out seven en route to his second complete game of the year, surrendered a one-out double in the fourth inning and a pair of doubles in the eighth.
UW-Whitewater entered the contest ranked third in the country in slugging percentage (.539) and triples per game (0.80), sixth in home runs per game (1.00), 10th in batting average (.346), 11th in stolen bases per game (2.95) and 13th in scoring (9.1).
UW-Oshkosh went into the doubleheader ranked eighth in the nation in scoring (9.5) and doubles per game (2.73), and 10th in slugging percentage (.490).
The UW-Oshkosh offense supported Treml's tremendous outing with two runs in the sixth and one run each during the fourth, eighth and ninth frames. The Titans collected 10 hits, including three from Zack Radde and two apiece by Alex Koch and Sam Schwenn, against a Warhawk pitching staff that ranked third nationally in earned run average (2.32), fourth in strikeout-to-walk ratio (3.93) and walks issued per nine innings (2.43).
Schwenn provided the Titans a 1-0 lead with a two-out, run-scoring single in the top of the fourth inning.
Reckert launched a two-run homer to right field for a 3-0 UW-Oshkosh advantage in the sixth frame before Dylan Ott scored on a passed ball during the eighth inning for a 4-0 Titan lead.
UW-Whitewater's Mike Aiello broke up Treml's bid for his fourth career shutout with an RBI double in the eighth inning.
The Titans then added an insurance run as Koch drew a bases-loaded walk in the ninth inning before Treml retired the Warhawks in order during the bottom half of the frame.
UW-Whitewater committed five errors that led to three unearned runs. UW-Oshkosh stranded 11 baserunners to just four by the Warhawks.
UW-Whitewater starting pitcher Austin Jones (4-2), a 26th-round selection by the Chicago Cubs in 2016, was charged with the loss after allowing three runs (one earned) on seven hits in seven innings. He walked one and recorded a career-high 11 strikeouts.
In the nightcap, UW-Whitewater scored in all but one inning and outhit the Titans, 15-3.
The Warhawks reclaimed a 2-1 lead in the third inning on a run-scoring single by Daytona Bryden, who went 2-for-3 with two walks. Bryden, who had just two singles in 13 at-bats in the four-game series with the Titans, went into Wednesday ranked third in the country in both batting average (.518) and slugging percentage (.940).
UW-Whitewater tacked on another run in the fourth before breaking the game open with three runs in the fifth and five more in the sixth.
Jeff Szubert went 3-for-4 with two runs batted in to lead the Warhawks. Cal Aldridge, Nick Schrader and Matt Wary each chipped in two hits for UW-Whitewater. Wary's two-run single extended the Warhawk advantage to 8-1 in the sixth inning.
UW-Whitewater starting pitcher Michael Kaska (6-1) earned the win, holding UW-Oshkosh to an unearned run on just two hits in five innings.
Andy Brahier had two hits, including a triple, and scored the Titans' lone run in the second inning.
UW-Oshkosh starting pitcher Lucas Gregory (2-3) suffered the loss after yielding six runs (four earned) on 11 hits over the first five innings.
UW-Oshkosh plays a single game against 25th-ranked UW-Stevens Point on Thursday (April 26) in Mauston.
Photo courtesy of Jennifer Zuberbier