UW–Platteville welcomed Illinois Institute of Technology to the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference a year earlier than scheduled for the Scarlet Hawks, but the Pioneers were not the most gracious hosts.
UW–Platteville won all four games over the weekend from IIT, which will be joining the WIAC as an affiliate member in baseball effective with the 2017–18 academic year.
The Pioneers walked off with a 6–5 12-inning win Saturday then won the second game 3–2 in a shortened seven-inning affair. On Sunday, the hosts won 14–10 behind a cycle from Josh Moses and 10–5.
The Pioneers are now 15–4 on the year riding a 10-game winning streak while the Scarlet Hawks are 2–17.
Senior leftfielder Kyle Reinhart started the weekend off right for the Pioneers, hitting a game-ending home run in the 12th inning. It was the second straight walkoff HR for UW–Platteville, as senior James Pavlik provided the big blast in a 4–3 win over Marian Wednesday.
Coach Eric Frese’s crew overcame a 5–2 lead to force extra innings in Saturday’s opener. The Pioneers took advantage of a wild pitch and a passed ball in a three-run sixth. Senior second baseman Mitch Marty brought in the tying run with a groundout to second.
Junior Riley Vandenberg (3–1) threw the final five innings, giving up just one hit, to earn the victory.
In Saturday’s nightcap, senior shortstop Taylor Christopher drove in all three Pioneers, which was just enough sophomore Tyler Vogel (3–0), who took a one-hit shutout into the sevent inning. IIT’s Matt Witkowski hit a two-run double in the seventh, narrowing the score to 3-2, but junior Cal Krafcheck came in to induce a flyout to left to earn his second save of the season.
Moses hits for the cycle
In Sunday’s first game, the Pioneers spotted IIT an early 2–0 lead but erupted for eight runs in the third and fourth innings. Reinhart and Moses had RBI hits in both innings, and junior third baseman Curtis Barness drilled a two-run double. Moses and Reinhart both cracked two-run home runs in the later innings to pad the lead for the Pioneers.
IIT rallied for four runs in the ninth, but it was not enough to drop its third straight game of the series.
Moses went 5-for-5 with four RBIs and hit for the cycle in the contest, with singles in the first and third, a double in the fourth, a home run in the sixth and the triple in the eighth. It is believed to be the first cycle in Pioneer baseball history, at least the first recorded cycle.
The Pioneers completed the four-game sweep with a 12-hit attack in the 10–5 victory. Moses and senior centerfielder Colin DeBoer each had three hits, including triples, and two RBIs. Senior Johnny Frese had two hits, Barness and Pavlik each scored twice, and sophomore catcher Connor Crotty drove home two runs.
Four different pitchers took the mound during the game, with sophomore Caleb Kaufman (2–0) earning the victory in relief.
UW–Platteville will put its 10-game winning streak on the line in the WIAC opener at UW–Stout in a four-game series Saturday and Sunday.
Pioneers sweep Marian
The UW–Platteville baseball team swept Marian University on Wednesday and extended their winning streak to six games.
In the first game, the Pioneers defeated the Sabres, 6–1. The Pioneers jumped out to a 4–0 lead in the bottom of the first. Moses singled to right field, scoring Christopher. Reinhart and first basemen Max Meitzler both hit sac flies to push the score to 3–0. The Pioneers would tack one more on in the inning on a RBI single from Barsness.
Marian scored in the top of the fourth, but the Pioneers answered with a Christopher RBI single in the bottom half of the frame. Center fielder James Pavlik extended the lead to 6–1 with an RBI infield single.
Keller went six innings and collected his second win on the year. He allowed two hits and struck out five. He also gave up one unearned run. Riley Vandenberg came in to shut the door on Marian in the bottom of the seventh. He gave up one hit and struck out one.
In the second game, the Pioneers needed some late-inning heroics to keep the win streak alive. In the second inning, Marian pushed two runs across. The Pioneers answered in the bottom of the second. Meitzler doubled to left field, scoring Moses. Barsness singled and advanced Meitzler to third. Crotty hit a sac fly to left, scoring Meitzler and tying the game up at 2–2.
Marian grabbed the lead back in the top of the third. The score was 3–2 in the bottom seventh when Crotty walked with one out. Joey Skora pinch ran for him. In the next at bat, Pavlik drilled a two-run walk off bomb to secure the sixth straight win for the Pioneers.
Kaufmann started the game, going five innings, striking out five and allowing three earned runs. Alex Curtis relieved Kaufmann in the top of the sixth. Cal Krafcheck pitched the last 11/3 innings and collected the win.