The No. 4/6 ranked University of Wisconsin-Whitewater baseball team maintained its two-game lead for first place in the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference standings Friday with a split of a doubleheader against UW-Platteville at Prucha Field at James B. Miller Stadium.
The Warhawks (24-6 overall, 11-3 WIAC) downed the Pioneers 10-0 in seven innings in the first game before falling 5-3 in the nightcap.
Saturday's doubleheader, which wraps up the four-game series, has been moved up to a 10 a.m. start at Miller Stadium due to anticipated inclement weather.
In the opener, UW-Whitewater struck for six runs in the bottom of the fourth inning to break open the contest and back junior pitcher Heath Renz, who improved to 6-0 with a four-hit shutout. The right-hander didn't walk a batter and struck out six in the 108-pitch performance.
Sophomore designated hitter Kevin White mashed his fourth home run of the year and third in his last six games to lead off the bottom of the second inning and totaled three hits, two runs scored and three runs batted in. Sophomore left fielder Matt Wary added two hits and scored two runs.
Sophomore catcher Mike Aiello knocked home the team's second run of the second inning with a two-out base hit to center.
After Renz stranded two runners in the top of the fourth, the Warhawks' first three batters reached base in the bottom half. With two runs already in, UW-Whitewater took advantage of a Pioneer error thanks to run-scoring hits by senior second baseman Steve Chamberlain and White, who came around to score on a wild pitch to give the team an 8-0 advantage.
White made it 9-0 in the sixth with a two-out double, and junior first baseman Blake Fleischman ended the contest by run rule with a two-out, RBI single down the right field line.
In Game 2, UW-Platteville (18-16, 3-11) broke a 3-3 tie with a run in the seventh before adding an insurance run in the eighth.
Chamberlain led the offense with two hits and one RBI. Fleischman and sophomore third baseman Cal Aldridge each knocked in one run.
Junior pitcher Austin Jones struck out nine in 6 1/3 innings but dropped to 6-2 in the loss. Sophomore Michael Kaska tossed the final 2 2/3 frames in relief.
UW-Whitewater will celebrate Tom Lange Appreciation Day while collecting funds for the JwegStrong Fund, which supports Justin Wegner, a catcher for the Warhawks in 2016 who was diagnosed over the summer with a rare form of cancer.
Tom Lange Day bobble heads and t-shirts will be available for a minimum $5 donation to the JwegStrong Fund, which helps cover costs associated with Wegner's treatment.
JwegStrong wristbands and other memorabilia will also be available for purchase.