Warhawks Maintain Stronghold on First in WIAC

More news about: UW-Whitewater

Another pair of strong offensive showings by the UW-Whitewater baseball team, ranked seventh in Division III, led to a doubleheader sweep of UW-La Crosse, 9-4 and 13-1, Saturday at Jim Miller Stadium at Prucha Field in Whitewater.  In game one the Warhawks scored nine runs on eleven hits to win, and in game two UW-W hammered out 13 hits before the game was stopped after seven innings by the run differential rule.  Saturday's healthy offensive output comes just after the Warhawks combined to record 40 hits and 38 runs in two wins over UW-Oshkosh last Wednesday in Oshkosh.  The Warhawks up their overall season record to 26-5 while they improve to 17-2, first place, in the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.  The Eagles fall to 15-12 overall and 7-6 in the WIAC.

UW-W jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the first inning of game one on a sacrifice fly to center field by Mikole Pierce (DePere/DePere).  In the second, Dylan Friend (Burlington/Burlington) walked with the bases loaded to make it 2-0 and Marty Herum (River Falls/River Falls) followed with a bases clearing double to right field to make it 5-0.
The Eagles crept closer at 5-2 in the top of the third scoring one on a sacrifice fly and the second on a single up the middle.
Herum notched his fourth RBI of the game and made it 6-2 in the bottom of the fourth on a single to left field that plated Michael Gonzalez (Delavan/Delavan-Darien).  Two more runs in the fifth gave UW-W an 8-2 advantage.
The scoreboard fell silent until the eighth when UW-L's Brooks Braga belted a two-run homerun to left field to cut UW-W's lead to 8-4.
David Cladis (Joliet, IL/Joliet Catholic) picked up an insurance run for UW-W in the bottom of the eighth with a sacrifice fly to center that scored Herum to make it 9-4.
Justin Lambert (Mt. Horeb/Mt. Horeb) pitched eight innings and struck out two to earn the victory and improve to 6-1 this season.  Lambert held the Eagles hitless during the fifth, sixth and seventh and gave up just six hits in the game.  Brock Liston (Darien, IL/Joliet Catholic) came in to pitch the ninth and sat the Eagles down 1-2-3.
UW-W kept rolling in game two.  With one out in the first the Warhawks scored three times.  In the second, JT Schneider (Oak Creek/Oak Creek) scored on an error to make it 4-0.  In the third, six of the first seven Warhawk batters reached base and scored to give UW-W a 10-0 lead.  Through three innings every Warhawk starter had one hit and Mikole Pierce (DePere/DePere) had two triples.
On the defensive side, Scott Plaza (Arlington Heights, IL/Prospect), UW-W's starter, and the Warhawk defense used four double plays to cruise through the first four innings.  Oddly enough, each of the four double plays were different.  There was a 6-3 line out in the first, a 6-4-3 in the second, a strike out and caught stealing in the third, and a 4-6-3 in the fourth.  Plaza went on to face the minimum through five and two-thirds before giving up a two-out double to right field.
Meanwhile the Warhawks added three more to their lead in the fifth to make it 13-0. JT Schneider (Oak Creek/Oak Creek), Michael Gonzalez (Delavan/Delavan-Darien) and Steve Bartlein (South Milwaukee/South Milwaukee) each tallied an RBI in the inning.
The Eagles finally notched a run in the seventh on a solo homerun by Adam Cordova to make it 13-1, but that was all UW-L could muster as the game ended in seven innings via the ten run rule.
Plaza gave up just four hits in six innings and struck out three to earn his fifth win of the season.  Mike Mierow (Brookfield/Central), the starting catcher, pitched the final inning for UW-W.

Marty Herum (River Falls/River Falls) collected six hits in the twinbill to go along with three runs scored and five RBIs.
The Warhawks and Eagles will play another doubleheader on Sunday at Miller Stadium at Prucha Field beginning at noon.