No. 4 Warhawks Earn Comeback to Finish Sweep at Ripon

The No. 4 ranked University of Wisconsin-Whitewater baseball team rolled to one win and erased a seven-run deficit in another Wednesday to post a two-game sweep of Ripon in a non-conference doubleheader in Ripon, Wis.


In the opener, UW-Whitewater pitchers overcame five errors in the field, stranding 11 Ripon base runners in the contest. Sophomore right-hander Michael Kaska started and tossed six shutout innings to improve to 1-2 on the year. He allowed only four hits and struck out six in the performance.


The Warhawks scored eight unanswered runs to start the game, crossing the plate three times in the top of the third on run-scoring hits by junior designated hitter Blake Fleischman and sophomore second baseman Connor Schneider and a sacrifice fly by junior centerfielder Brett Krause.


Junior right fielder Will Helbing came through with a two-out, two-run triple to right field in the fifth to up the lead to 5-0, and UW-Whitewater added two more in the seventh on an RBI double by senior shortstop Jordan Kuczynski and a sacrifice fly by Helbing.


Krause provided another run in the eighth on a run-scoring base hit to right.


Fleischman, Kuczynski and sophomore left fielder Matt Wary registered two hits apiece to lead the offense.


UW-Whitewater fell behind by an 8-1 score early in the second game before rattling off eight straight runs, including two in the top of the ninth. Freshman right fielder Ryan Makuski tied the game at 8-8 with a base hit up the middle and sophomore designated hitter Trent Borgardt gave the team the lead with a ground ball to short.


Senior lefty Ankur Shah pitched 6 1/3 innings in relief, allowing only one unearned run while striking out seven to improve to 2-0 on the season. Junior Austin Jones pitched a 1-2-3 bottom of the ninth to record his first save of the year.


The Red Hawks (4-13) jumped all over the Warhawks for three in the first inning and five in the second to take an 8-1 advantage.


UW-Whitewater chipped away at its deficit, plating two in the third, one in the fourth and three in the fifth to make it a one-run ballgame.


Makuski tallied four of the Warhawks' 12 hits and knocked in two runs. Borgardt plated two runs, and Krause totaled two hits and two runs scored. Senior second baseman Steve Chamberlain and sophomore third baseman Cal Aldridge each scored two runs.


UW-Whitewater opens the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference season this Saturday with a doubleheader against No. 15 UW-La Crosse. First pitch is at 12 p.m. at Miller Stadium.