PLATTEVILLE, Wis. – In what were four of the strongest offensive performances you will see, UW-Platteville split a pair of doubleheaders with UW-Stout on Saturday and Sunday. The Pioneers took game one both days at Kendall Murray Field, 13-11 and 12-11, while the Blue Devils took the second games, 14-13 and 9-7.
Over the four game set the two teams combined for 90 runs, 74 RBI, 125 hits, and 30 extra base hits. With such big offensive numbers it would be assumed there would be blowouts, but all four games saw winning run come to the plate in the final at-bat.
Josh Moses went 8-of-17 for the Pioneers on the weekend with a team high nine RBI, three doubles, a triple, and home run. Ross Krist recorded 10 hits in the four game set with eight RBI and a pair of doubles, and Brooks Chandler hit a Pioneers' high .545 with four runs scored and two RBI.
A strong start and finish at the plate sent the Pioneers on their way to a 13-11 game one victory. The Pioneers pushed across eight runs in the first three innings including a five run, two-out rally in the second.
Collin Mormann, Moses, and Jonathon Kelso had consecutive two-out hits in the second to give UW-Platteville their first three runs in the frame. Brendon Reifsteck singled to keep the action going and promptly stole second. Krist then singled to drive in the final two runs before he was tagged out between first and second.
Even with a great first three inning, the Pioneers found themselves down 9-8 after Stout's half of the fourth inning. That score remained intact until the bottom of the seventh when Krist tied the game with an RBI double, and two batters later UW-Platteville took a 10-9 lead on a wild pitch.
The Blue Devils evened the score in the top of the eighth, but another two-out rally in the bottom of the inning gave the Pioneers their winning runs. With Moses standing on second after a leadoff double, Krist singled to left for his fourth RBI hit of the game. Connor Crotty followed with a two-run shot that fell just over the left field wall for what ended up being the winning runs.
UW-Stout scored once in the top of the eighth, but Darren Strasburg came on to record his second save of the season.
The Pioneers rallied to take a 13-11 lead in the seventh inning after trailing 7-0 and 10-6 before the game was suspended due to the fading light. Sunday morning the two teams returned to the ball field an hour early to finish the game.
The first two Blue Devils reached and came around to score to start the day in the eighth, and the visitors went up 14-13 soon after. The Pioneers loaded the bases in the bottom of the ninth, but were unable to get the tying run across.
Another fast start in the first full game on Sunday had UW-Stout up 9-0 after their half of the third, but three and five-run frames in the third and fourth pulled the Pioneers within 9-8.
In the their half of the fourth, the Pioneers put together their third five-run, two-out rally in as many games in the series. Mitchell Susa got the action started with a single that scored Krist, and after a wild pitch, Mormann singled in Brooks Chandler and Susa. Moses followed with his third home run of the season to cut the Pioneers' deficit to one.
UW-Platteville still found themselves down a run heading into the bottom of the seventh, this time 10-9. Chandler and Brennan Kearney singled back-to-back with one out to put runners on the corners, and a Susa sacrifice fly tied the game. Mormann was hit by a pitch in the following at bat, and Moses followed with a two-run double to give UW-Platteville the 12-10 lead.
The Blue Devils scored once more in the ninth, but Darren Strasburg finished strong for the Pioneers to record his third save of the season and his second in two days. Strasburg and Tim Dobrik combined to throw four and two-thirds innings of one run ball to set up the Pioneers' comeback.
Falling behind early for their fourth game in a row, the Pioneers remained tough once again to tie the game at 5-5 in the fourth and then 6-6 in the fifth. Starter Caleb Kauffman shutdown the Blue Devils in the next two innings, but a three-run top of the eighth was too much for UW-Platteville to overcome.
Although he gave up 15 hits and 7 runs, Zach Carlson threw all nine innings for the Blue Devils for his second complete game of the season.
UW-Platteville finishes their year 10-30 and 4-20 in the WIAC, while UW-Stout finishes 10-27, 7-17.