Chris Atwood pitched a six-hit shutout with nine strikeouts in the nightcap to lead the UW-Oshkosh baseball team to a doubleheader split with UW-Stevens Point on Wednesday (April 10) at Tiedemann Field.
UW-Oshkosh (13-10, 6-4 WIAC) rebounded for a 5-0 win behind Atwood's gem in the second game after suffering a 6-2 setback during the opener.
UW-Stevens Point (10-10, 2-4 WIAC) is now 3-1 on the road this season while UW-Oshkosh fell to 5-1 at home on the year.
Jonathan Selchow went a combined 5-for-6 at the plate for UW-Oshkosh with a pair of walks and four runs scored.
Hunter Staniske was 3-for-3 with a double, two runs scored, one run batted in and a stolen base in the nightcap for the Titans, who also received two hits each from Selchow, Sean Cummins and Alex Koch during the second contest.
Both teams collected 13 hits on the day.
In Wednesday's second game, Atwood pitched around a leadoff double in the first inning and a pair of hits in the second frame before going on to retire the Pointers in order during the fourth, fifth, seventh and ninth. Just four UW-Stevens Point baserunners advanced past first base the entire game.
Atwood, who tossed his second shutout of the season, improved his record to 3-3 on the year. He allowed four singles and a pair of doubles without issuing a walk while lowering his earned run average to 3.31 and raising his strikeout-to-walk ratio to 3.00 this year.
The Titans backed Atwood's stellar pitching performance with a two-run second inning and single runs in each of the fourth, sixth and seventh frames.
UW-Oshkosh provided Atwood the only run he needed when Tyler Gaecke was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded in the bottom of the second inning. Matt McNabb added a run-scoring groundout later in the frame. The RBIs were Gaecke's first of the year and McNabb's second.
The Titans tacked on an insurance run in the home half of the fourth inning as Staniske hit a leadoff single, went to second base on a Cummins single and scored on a two-out throwing error by Pointers center fielder Peyton Nelson following a flyout off the bat of Gaecke. Staniske tagged up on Gaecke's flyball, but Nelson's subsequent throw to get Staniske at third base sailed into the Titan dugout.
UW-Oshkosh extended its lead to 4-0 in the sixth inning when Selchow scored on a balk with two outs and the bases loaded. The Titans then created the final score in the bottom of the seventh frame on a sacrifice fly from Staniske that plated Dylan Ott, who walked to lead off the inning.
Atwood escaped the first inning unscathed by getting a strikeout and a pair of flyouts after a leadoff double by Kyle Mrozinski. The Pointers threatened again in the second frame, but a leadoff single was erased via an Atwood pickoff at first base and a two-out double was stranded after a lineout concluded the inning.
After Atwood set down eight consecutive batters between the third and fifth innings, UW-Stevens Point had one more scoring chance in the top of the sixth frame. Mrozinski, who accounted for four of the Pointers' six hits against Atwood, led off the sixth inning with a single to left field. A sacrifice bunt moved Mrozinski up a base, and a fielding error by Selchow, the Titans third baseman, put runners aboard with one out. However, Atwood preserved the shutout by inducing a groundout and a flyout to end the inning.
Atwood proceeded to retire 11 of the last 12 batters he faced, including three on strikeouts. Atwood, who allowed just a one-out single over the final three innings, needed just four pitches to get his three outs in the ninth frame.
Zack Haupt (2-1) suffered the loss for UW-Stevens Point after ceding four runs (three earned) on eight hits with three walks and a pair of strikeouts across the first six innings.
In the first game of the day, the teams battled to a scoreless tie until the Pointers broke through for three runs in the fourth inning on three hits, two walks and the second of UW-Oshkosh's season high-tying five errors. Weston Nelson gave the Pointers a 3-0 lead with a two-out, two-run single.
UW-Oshkosh cuts its deficit to 3-1 in the bottom of the fifth inning as Koch drew a walk with the bases loaded, but UW-Stevens Point added three runs in the eighth on RBI hits from Payton Nelson, Nate Jackan and Weston Nelson.
The Titans, who pulled within 6-2 when Koch was hit with the bases loaded in the last of the ninth inning, brought the tying run to the plate with two outs, but a groundout ended the game as UW-Oshkosh finished the opener with 11 runners left on base.
Pointers starting pitcher Tristan Brewer (3-0) earned the win, allowing just an unearned run on two hits across six innings. He walked six and struck out four.
UW-Stevens Point's Mack Blashka picked up his second save of the year after holding the Titans to one run on one hit and three walks over the final three innings.
Selchow went 3-for-3 with a walk and two runs scored for the Titans.
UW-Oshkosh starting pitcher Colan Treml (4-3) was charged with the loss, yielding six runs on six hits in 7.2 innings with two walks and three strikeouts. Treml, who increased his school record to 273.1 career innings pitched, is now tied for fourth in program history with 225 strikeouts during his four seasons.
The Titans' loss in Wednesday's first game was their first suffered at home since a 5-3 decision to the Pointers on April 12, 2018.
UW-Oshkosh plays doubleheaders at UW-La Crosse on Saturday and Sunday (April 13-14).
Photo by Michael McLoone