CHICAGO, Ill. – The UW-Platteville baseball team split doubleheaders with Illinois Tech on both Saturday and Sunday at Ed Glancy Field. UW-Platteville (8-28, 2-18 WIAC) fell to Illinois Tech (14-22, 5-15 WIAC) 14-4 in seven innings in game one Saturday, but responded with a 17-7 win in seven innings in the nightcap. The Pioneers took game one 5-3 on Sunday before losing a 1-0 pitcher's duel in game two.
In the wild Saturday doubleheader, the two teams combined for 40 hits and 42 runs in 14 innings. Although they gave up 14 runs in game one, outside of the second and third innings the Pioneers' pitching staff gave up just three hits and a single run. After falling behind 11-2, Keegan Madigan came on in relief to keep the Scarlet Hawks' offense in check. In three and two-thirds innings he gave up three hits and two earned runs. UW-Platteville scored twice in the third and fourth innings on Josh Moses and Jonathon Kelso RBI hits, and an RBI single and sac fly by Brendon Reifsteck.
Game two Saturday produced a flipped result of the opening game. UW-Platteville put up eight runs in the first two innings, and finished scoring in six of seven innings. Extra base hits by Collin Mormann, Moses, and Connor Crotty led to a three run first inning for the Pioneers. In the second inning the Pioneers took advantage of Tech mishaps, plating five after the first four batters reached on an error and three consecutive hit by pitches.
The Scarlet Hawks held close at 8-6 after two innings, but runs in the fourth through seventh innings by UW-Platteville separated the two teams. The decisive blow came in the seventh on Mitchel Susa's first career home run that put the Pioneers up 10. Scottie Gordon earned the win, and Tim Dobrik threw three innings of two hit relief.
Sunday brought a pair of much more contested games. UW-Platteville took 1-0 and 3-1 leads in game one, but each time Tech responded to tie the game. The Pioneers scored in the top of the second on a Kelso double, and used three hits to score twice in the sixth inning. With the game tied at 3-3 in the top of the ninth and runners at first and second, Moses connected for his WIAC leading 17th double of the season to score Paul Maguire for the eventual winning run. Two batters later Ross Krist scored on a Crotty sac fly for an insurance run.
Starting pitcher Tyler Vogel did everything he could to get the Pioneers their second win of the weekend. In his fifth start of the year he threw eight innings, scattering seven hits and gave up three runs while striking out eight Scarlet Hawks. Darren Strasburg came on to throw a 1-2-3 bottom of the ninth for his first save of the season.
Another outstanding pitching performance highlighted the final game of the series for the Pioneers. Caleb Koffman threw all eight innings for his first career complete game, surrendering just one run on five hits. He retired 12 of the first 13 batters he faced, and didn't give up a hit until a Tech double led off the fifth inning. After a wild pitch, a Scarlet Hawks' sacrifice fly turned that double into the only run of the game.
The Pioneers only real scoring opportunity came in the second inning. With runners on first and second and one out, MJ Ranieri singled to right field but Krist was gunned down trying to score. A Brennan Kearny walk loaded the bases before a strikeout ended the inning.
On the weekend Kelso and Moses led the Pioneers with five RBI apiece, and Reifsteck added four. Krist went 5-of-17 in the four game set with five runs scored.
The Pioneers finish off their 2018 season next weekend when they host UW-Stout for doubleheaders on Friday and Saturday.