AUBURNDALE, Fla. – The No. 4 ranked University of Wisconsin-Whitewater baseball team ended its 2017 spring trip in walk-off fashion Wednesday afternoon in a 7-6 triumph over Union (N.Y.) at Lake Myrtle Park.
After the Dutchmen (2-3 overall) tied the game at 6-6 in the top of the ninth, the Warhawks loaded the bases thanks to base hits by junior first baseman Blake Fleischman, junior centerfielder Brett Krause and senior shortstop Jordan Kuczynski.
With two outs, junior Ryan Makuski, who entered the game as a pinch runner in the bottom of the eighth, fought his way to a full count and was hit by the 3-2 pitch to bring home the game-winning run.
The win helped UW-Whitewater finish its spring break trip with a 6-0 mark and improve to 9-1 for the season.
Senior right-hander Westin Wuethrich pitched the first six innings, allowing only two earned runs while striking out five over that span. Sophomore RHP Michael Kaska tossed the next two frames in relief, and senior righty Mike Nompleggi pitched the top of the ninth to record his first win of the season.
Sophomore left fielder Matt Wary nearly hit for the cycle from the leadoff spot, finishing 4-for-5 with one double, a leadoff home run off the top of the left field fence and three runs batted in.
Junior right fielder Will Helbing, sophomore third baseman Cal Aldridge and sophomore first baseman Trent Borgardt collected two hits apiece for the Warhawks, who pounded out a season-high 16 hits.
UW-Whitewater struck first with three runs in the opening frame. After Wary's leadoff homer, Aldridge singled in a run and Helbing added an RBI single with two outs.
The Warhawks added another run in the fourth on a base hit by Wary that scored Borgardt, who singled, stole second base and advance to third on a single by sophomore catcher Mike Aiello.
Union plated five unanswered runs in the fifth, sixth and seventh innings combined to take a 5-4 advantage. UW-Whitewater took the lead back in the bottom of the eighth on consecutive, two-out hits by sophomore pinch hitter McCauley Cox and Wary.
The Dutchmen tied the game with one out in the top of the ninth, but Nompleggi stranded a pair of runners in scoring position with a full-count strikeout to end the threat.
The Warhawks return to action next Wednesday, March 29, as they host St. Scholastica (Minn.) for the team's 2017 home opener. First pitch of the doubleheader is slated for 1 p.m. at Miller Stadium.