Both teams capitalized on wild pitches and passed balls as UW-Oshkosh and UW-Superior split a baseball doubleheader on Saturday (March 31) at Tiedemann Field. It was the conference opener for both squads.
The Yellowjackets (10-7/1-1 WIAC) used two wild pitches in the ninth inning to grab a 2-1 victory in the opener. The nightcap required 11 innings, as the Titans (5-8/1-1 WIAC) scored the winning run when Brock Guetzke (Jr. • Hartford) touched home on a passed ball.
Game one saw UW-Superior take a 1-0 lead in the fourth on a single by Rob Veith. Another runner tried to score on the hit, but Guetzke threw him out at the plate. UW-Oshkosh tied the score in the fifth inning when Luke Gajewski (Fr. • Wausau) walked and later scored on a wild pitch.
After three scoreless innings, UW-Superior tallied its winning run in the top of the ninth inning. The Yellowjackets' Wyatt Soderquist reached first base on a fielder's choice, went to second on a wild pitch and moved to third on a passed ball. He then raced home on another wild pitch to give his team a 2-1 lead.
UW-Oshkosh had two men on base during the bottom of the ninth inning, but Derek Layton (Jr. • Cross Plains) grounded out to end the contest.
Luke Westphal (Sr. • Clintonville) took the complete-game loss for the Titans. He struck out 11 batters while allowing four hits and two unearned runs.
Mike Swanson pitched the first 8.2 innings for UW-Superior. He earned the win after allowing just three hits and one run. Cody Johnson got the save after retiring Layton on the ground out.
UW-Superior's Tom Fairbanks led all players with three hits on the day. During the fourth inning of game two, he belted a two-run single to put the Yellowjackets ahead. UW-Superior increased its margin to 3-0 on a Titan fielding error.
In the bottom of the sixth inning, Gajewski reached safely on an infield single for UW-Oshkosh's first hit. Following a run-scoring fielder's choice by Layton, the Titans cut their deficit to 3-2 on a Brock Guetzke (Jr. • Hartford) infield single.
Layton walked to open the eighth inning. He then advanced on a single from Kamps. With two outs, Kyle Van Abel (Sr. • Kaukauna) executed a perfect bunt single to score Layton and tie the score at 3.
The Titans' 11th inning was jump-started by a UW-Superior throwing error. Guetzke moved from first to third base with a sacrifice and Trey Demler's (Fr. • Oshkosh) single. Guetzke then scored on a passed ball to make a winner of pitcher Matt Wells (Jr. • Little Chute). Wells held the Yellowjackets scoreless over the final three innings. He relieved James Lacy (So. • Shawano) who allowed just three runs and four hits during the first eight innings.
Ethan Branum tossed the opening 7.2 innings and allowed one earned run for UW-Superior. Bobby Tyndall gave up one unearned run during his 2.2 innings to take the loss.
UW-Oshkosh and UW-Superior will play another doubleheader on Sunday (April 1) at Tiedemann Field.