Yellowjackets bounce back, sweep UW-Oshkosh

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Listen to any radio station that plays songs known as "standards," by artists known for their ability to croon, and you will undoubtedly hear a tune that goes something along the lines of, "What a difference a day makes, 24 little hours," and so on. That little ditty would serve the Yellowjacket baseball team very well in terms of a motto, credo or team anthem.

On Saturday the team had one of its roughest under the direction of head coach Eddy Morgan, surrendering 41 runs and 42 hits on the way to a sweep at the hands of UW-Oshkosh, ranked No. 24 in the nation. On Sunday things changed. The Yellowjackets got themselves back to where they needed to be and turned the tables on the Titans, taking a pair of games and leaving town with a split series.

Game 1
Yellowjackets 8, Oshkosh 5
Box Score

After a scoreless first inning the Yellowjackets did something in the bottom half of the second inning that they didn't do at all on Saturday - lead the game. With one out Jeff Miller (Minneapolis, Minn./Washburn), Robbie Veith (Brainerd, Minn./Brainerd) and Tom Fairbanks (Brainerd, Minn./Brainerd) strung together three straight singles to plate the game's first run. An error brought home the second run of the inning and then Tyler Duex (Chippewa Falls, Wis./Chippewa Falls) singled, bringing home two, and the Yellowjackets were up 4-0.

TJ Evanson (Lakeville, Minn./Lakeville North) doubled to center field to lead off the bottom of the third inning and two hitters later Miller brought him around to make it a 5-0 Yellowjacket lead.

Oshkosh jumped right back into the game in the top of the fourth, scoring three times on Yellowjacket starter Dan Genrich (Wausau, Wis./Wausau West). Michael Polcyn led off the inning with a single and scored on Michael Swift's double. Swift scored on a Zac Peterson single and then Robbie Klemen brought home another run to pull the Titans to within two.

In the top of the fifth they tied the game on RBI singles from Polcyn and Swift.

The Yellowjackets regained the lead in the bottom of the frame when Veith singled home Miller to make it 6-5.

Travis Elwood (Ramsey, Minn./Anoka) relieved Genrich in the top of the sixth and shut the Titans down. Meanwhile the Yellowjackets tacked on two more runs - getting and RBI single from Evanson in the bottom of the sixth and an RBI single from Sam Holden (Spooner, Wis./Spooner) in the bottom of the seventh to make the score 8-5.

Oshkosh went quietly in the eighth and ninth innings, as Elwood and Michael Doescher (Wausau, Wis./Wausau West) combined to pitch the final four innings.

Miller, Veith and Duex paced the Yellowjackets with three hits apiece. For the game the Yellowjackets had 15 hits. On the other side Polcyn, Swift, Klemen and Doug Beattie all had multi-hit games for the Titans.

Genrich got the win after allowing five runs on eight hits in five innings. He struck out three. Elwood pitched two-and-two-thirds scoreless innings before yielding to Doescher, who was credited with his second save of the year.

Game 2
Yellowjackets 6, Oshkosh 1
Box Score

The second game of the day was all about the man on the mound for the Yellowjackets. Cody Johnson (Owatonna, Minn./Owatonna), traditionally used out of the bullpen, instead got the start in the final game of the series and shut the Titans down, tossing a complete-game gem to gain the series split.

The Yellowjackets drew first blood in the bottom of the third inning. Tony Remund (Andover, Minn./Coon Rapids) was hit by a pitch to lead off the inning, went to second on a ground out and advanced to third on a wild pitch. Wyatt Soderquist (Cambridge, Minn./Cambridge-Isanti) dropped down the perfect bunt, reached base for the single and brought Remund home to make it 1-0.

In the top of the fourth the Titans built up their only threat of the game and plated the run that tied the game. Klemen's infield single with two outs scored Tyler Kamps to make the game 1-1.

The Yellowjackets answered in the bottom of the fifth, and again the rally was started by Remund. The junior shortstop led off with a single and then promptly stole second to get in scoring position. Two hitters later Veith singled to left field, allowing Remund to score and give the Yellowjackets a 2-1 edge.

The Yellowjackets closed out the scoring in the bottom of the sixth, plating four runs to pull away. With the bases loaded and one out Remund was hit by a pitch, scoring Miller to make it a 3-1 game. Next Holden singled to left field, scoring two more runs. Later in the inning Soderquist singled to right field, bringing home the fourth run of the inning and suddenly the Yellowjackets found themselves comfortably ahead by five runs.

That was all the help that Johnson would need, as he continued to baffle the Oshkosh lineup, never allowing them to gain their balance and put together a big inning.

Johnson finished the game giving up one run on seven hits to go along with nine strikeouts to get the win, improving to 2-2 on the year.

At the plate the Yellowjackets had nine hits, led by Fairbanks, Holden and Soderquist who all had two hits. Soderquist and Holden also had two RBI and Remund scored three times in the game.

For Oshkosh, Polcyn went 2-for-4, the only Titan with more than one hit in the game.

The Yellowjackets (14-15, 7-7 WIAC) will play a doubleheader at UW-La Crosse on Wednesday, April 24. First pitch is scheduled for 1:00 p.m.