The No. 5 ranked University of Wisconsin-Whitewater baseball team was strong in all facets Thursday night, opening its 2017 season with consecutive victories over St. Thomas (Minn.) in non-conference play at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis.
The Warhawks (2-0 overall) bested the Tommies 5-2 in the opener before closing the night with a 10-1 triumph.
St. Thomas (1-2) struck first in the opener before UW-Whitewater tallied five unanswered runs, including two in the top of the third inning, en route to a win.
Junior right-hander Austin Jones picked up the win on the mound, surrendering only three hits and two walks while striking out six in 5 2/3 innings. Senior righty Mike Nompleggi got out of a bases-loaded jam in the bottom of the seventh to earn the save in 1 1/3 innings of work.
Junior designated hitter Will Helbing and sophomore third baseman Cal Aldridge knocked in two runs apiece to lead the Warhawks, who pounded out 10 hits in the contest. Junior right fielder Brett Krause also knocked in one run.
In Game 2, UW-Whitewater took control of the game with a three-run bottom of the third inning, highlighted by a two-run double by junior first baseman Blake Fleischman, who also scored two runs in the game.
Junior centerfielder Daytona Bryden scored twice and knocked in one run, and senior second baseman Steve Chamberlain recorded two RBI and one run. Senior shortstop Jordan Kuczynski collected two hits and one run scored.
Making his Warhawk debut, senior Westin Wuethrich pitched five innings, allowing one run one hit and four walks while striking out nine. Nompleggi and sophomore Michael Kaska each tossed one shutout inning in relief.
UW-Whitewater continues play in Minneapolis Friday at 11 a.m. with a doubleheader against Concordia-Moorhead (Minn.).