Whitewater sweeps doubleheader, series from Yellowjackets

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The first weekend of conference play was a tough one for the Yellowjacket baseball team. Following a close loss and a rout at the hands of UW-Whitewater on Friday and Saturday, respectively, the Yellowjackets looked to get in the win column and even the series in Sunday's doubleheader at Whitewater. Unfortunately, the hosts had other ideas, as the nationally-ranked Warhawks held serve on their home court, taking both games on Sunday and sweeping the four-game WIAC series.

Game 1
Whitewater 7, Yellowjackets 5
Box Score

In the first two games of the weekend the Warhawks got off to fast starts, putting five runs on the board in the first inning of each contest. In the first game on Sunday afternoon, it was the Yellowjackets who got things rolling early, jumping out to a 3-0 lead before the Warhawks had their first at bat.

Back-to-back one-out singles from Wyatt Soderquist (Cambridge, Minn./Cambridge-Isanti) and TJ Evanson (Lakeville, Minn./Lakeville North) followed by a walk to Jeff Miller (Minneapolis, Minn./Washburn) loaded the bases with one out. Two batters later Tony Remund (Andover, Minn./Coon Rapids) cleared the bases, ripping a triple into the left-center field gap to give the Yellowjackets a 3-0 advantage.

Whitewater broke through in the bottom of the third when Dylan Friend sent a Cody Johnson (Owatonna, Minn./Owatonna) pitch over the wall in right field to make it 3-1. In the bottom of the fourth the Warhawks manufactured a pair of runs to tie the game.

The Yellowjackets regained the lead in the top of the fifth, when they scored a pair of runs. Evanson led off with a double and Miller walked once again. Tom Fairbanks (Brainerd, Minn./Brainerd) bunted both runners into scoring position and two batters later Jordan Koepp (Grand Rapids, Minn./Grand Rapids) stroked a single to left field to give the Yellowjackets a 5-3 edge.

In the bottom of the inning, the Warhawks came storming back and took their first lead of the day.

Friend doubled to lead off the inning and moved to third on a ground out. Following a Marty Herum walk. Mikole Pierce doubled, scoring Friend to make it a 5-4 game. Steve Bartlein followed with an RBI single that scored two runs and give Whitewater its first lead of the game at 6-5.

Herum provided some insurance for the Warhawks, homering to lead off the bottom of the seventh inning to make the final score 7-5.

Whitwater made a pitching change to start the ninth inning, bringing in Colin Grove to nail things down, but it was anything but easy. Robbie Veith (Brainerd, Minn./Brainerd), Soderquist and Evanson greeted Grove with three straight singles to load the bases with nobody out. But Grove retired the next two batters on strikes and got Remund to ground into a fielder's choice, ending the contest.

Evanson had a good day at the plate for the Yellowjackets, going 3-for-5 with a pair of runs scored. Soderquist had a pair of hits for the Yellowjackets, who as a team had nine hits. Remund had three RBI and Koepp had two to lead the Yellowjackets.

Johnson got the start and went six-and-a-third innings, giving up seven earned runs on 12 hits in falling to 1-2 on the year. Johnson walked three and struck out one. Kyle Gauger (Spooner, Wis./Spooner) pitched the remainder of the game, pitching one-and-two-thirds scoreless innings without giving up a hit.

Matt Roberts got the win for Whitewater, improving to 4-0 on the year after pitching eight innings, allowing five earned runs on six hits. He walked four and struck out eight. Grove pitched a rocky ninth inning to pick up his first save of the season.

Friend and Herum each had three hits to lead the way for Whitewater.

Game 2
Whitewater 11, Yellowjackets 8
Box Score

In the second game Whitewater turned the tables, putting up five runs over the first two innings to build the early lead.

After Jared Fon walked, Herum drilled an Alex Beers (Robbinsdale, Minn./Robbinsdale Armstrong) pitch over the wall in right field to make it a 2-0 game after one inning. In the bottom of the second Bartlein reached on an error to lead off the inning and eventually came around to score on a sacrifice fly. J.T. Schneider singled and then proceeded to steal second and third bases but was later caught trying to steal home as the Warhawks attempted a double steal.

Later in the inning Matt Bauer and Fon had RBI singles to make it a 5-0 Warhawk lead after two innings.

The Yellowjackets came roaring back in the third, scoring five times to tie the game.

Tyler Duex (Chippewa Falls, Wis./Chippewa Falls) led off with a single and Veith was hit by a pitch to put the first two runners on. Two hitters later Evanson singled, scoring Duex to get the Yellowjackets on the board. Later, with the bases loaded, Fairbanks brought Soderquist home on a sacrifice fly to make it 5-2. Remund continued his big day when he doubled to left-center field, bringing in two more runs and suddenly the Yellowjackets were within one at 5-4. Remund would score the tying run later in the inning on an error, tying things at 5-5.

In the bottom of the fourth the Warhawks got two back, using a pair of RBI singles to make it 7-5.

The Yellowjackets rallied again, scoring twice more in the top of the sixth to tie it up.

With one out Veith doubled to right field. After Soderquist reached on an error and Miller walked to load the bases, Fairbanks singled up the middle, scoring two and again tying the game, 7-7.

The Yellowjackets regained the lead in the top of the eighth inning. Soderquist led off with a double and came around to score on an RBI-single by Miller to make it 8-7.

But the Warhawks came roaring back in the bottom half of the inning to put the game away.

After Bauer walked to lead off the inning, the Yellowjackets turned to lefty Dan Genrich (Wausau, Wis./Wausau West) out of the bullpen, but he promptly walked Friend to put two on with nobody out. After a bunt moved both runners into scoring position, Bauer came in to score on a balk, tying the game. Herum was then walked intentionally and Pierce also drew a walk, loading the bases with one out. Bartlein followed with a two-run single to make it 10-7. The Warhawks would then squeeze one more run in to make it a four-run game.

Just as they did in the first game, the Yellowjackets put a threat together in the ninth inning, but once again the Warhawk bullpen closed the door without a run being scored.

Brady Flaherty (Balsam Lake, Wis./Unity) singled and two hitters later Veith singled to put two runners on and the tying run in the on-deck circle. But reliever Tom Kerndt got Soderquist to strike out, finishing off the inning and the game.

The Yellowjackets outhit the Warhawks 15-11 in the second game, led by Soderquist, Miller and Flaherty who all had three hits. Soderquist also scored three times in the game and Fairbanks and Remund drove in three and two runs, respectively, to lead the Yellowjackets.

On the other side Friend, Fon, Bartlein and Schneider all had two hits to lead the way for Whitewater.

Beers got the start for the Yellowjackets and went three-and-a-third innings, giving up four earned runs on seven hits with four walks and as strikeout. Aaron Martin (Hayward, Wis./Hayward) and Gauger combined to pitch three scoreless innings. Graham Miller (Cumberland, Wis./Cumberland) gave up one earned run and walked a pair in two-thirds of an inning. Genrich was ultimately tagged with the loss, falling to 2-4 on the year after allowing three earned runs on three hits to go along with three walks and a strikeout in one inning.

Justin Lambert got the start for Whitewater and gave up five runs (four earned) on eight hits in five innings. He gave way to Cody Steed, who got the win after pitching three innings, allowing three runs (one earned) on five hits. He walked one and struck out two. Kerndt pitched the ninth to pick up his first save of the season.

The Yellowjackets (7-12, 0-4 WIAC) return to action on Saturday, April 13 when they travel to UW-Whitewater for a doubleheader. First pitch is scheduled for 12:00 p.m.