Milwaukee Offense Leads Way To Split at New Mexico State
Feb. 16, 2013
LAS CRUCES, N.M. - The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee baseball team scored nine unanswered runs to turn a three-run deficit into a 13-8 victory over New Mexico State Saturday afternoon at Presley Askew Field.
The Panthers (2-2) collected 15 hits in the opener but had to settle for the doubleheader split after the Aggies (2-2) took a 16-8 victory in game two.
Sophomore Michael Porcaro led the way in the win, tying career-highs with four hits and three runs batted in while also scoring a pair of runs.
"We did not play our best baseball overall today, that's for sure," Milwaukee head coach Scott Doffek said. "We were not sharp on the mound and the mental energy started to wane on defense. In the first game we did a great job of battling on offense and our bullpen came in and allowed us to pull away."
Freshman Mitch Ghelfi and sophomore Derek Peake both went 3-for-5 with two runs scored and an RBI and senior Alex Erdmann also had a multi-hit effort with his 2-for-5 outing. Sophomore Luke Meeteer extended his hitting streak to 23 games in the opener as well. Tanner Rust led the Aggies with a three-hit game.
Milwaukee led 3-0 early after a two-run home run by senior Will Fadness, only to see the Aggies respond with five in the third to take a 5-3 lead. UWM scored once in the top of the fifth on a Porcaro double, but New Mexico State plated two more in its half to seemingly take control at 7-4.
No worries for the Panthers offense so far in 2013, as they got two back in the sixth on RBI's from Porcaro and junior Sam Koenig and then put up a crooked number in the eighth by plating seven runs on five hits.
Peake singled, stole second and UWM had runners on first and third after Meeteer reached on a sac bunt. Another steal by Meeteer and it was Porcaro yet again, singling through the left side to plate one before also stealing second base. Fadness was intentionally walked to load the bases for senior Drew Pearson, who also drew a walk to force home the go-ahead run.
From there the rally just kept growing. An error helped the next run home and Ghelfi followed with a hit to plate another. Erdmann followed suit and Peake doubled in the final run of the inning one batter later.
Sophomore Justin Jaquish (1-0) picked up the victory, coming on in the fifth to pitch 2.2 shutout frames. He allowed just three hits, striking out a pair. Erdmann (1.0 IP) and freshman Jake Tuttle then closed out the victory.
In the nightcap, Milwaukee fell into an early 5-0 hole and could never recover. The Panthers got on the scoreboard in the third when Koenig doubled and Fadness collected an RBI-groundout, but gave one back in the bottom of the fourth to trail, 6-2.
"In game two, Eric King just couldn't find it and we made a couple of miscues that put unnecessary pressure on him," Doffek said. "We know what he is capable of and he just needs to get that going. Strikes can become mental and that's what happened for the staff down here. I look for those guys to bounce back in a big way."
A rally in the fifth nearly made it a new game. Koenig was hit by a pitch and Fadness singled. After a NMSU error, junior Pat Wilson drove in two with a single up the middle. An RBI-groundout plated another and UWM had runners on second and third with two outs, but could do no more damage.
Unfortunately, the Aggies were not done either, scoring twice in the fifth and three more times in the sixth to take control at 11-5. UWM tacked on three in the seventh, but New Mexico State plated five more in the next two innings to go on to the 16-8 victory.
Koenig had two hits and drove in a pair and juniors Ryan Solberg and Tell Taylor each had 2-for-5 outings. Meeteer came up empty, seeing his hitting streak come to an end at 23 games, the fourth-longest in school history.
Sophomore Eric King (0-1) got the start, but pitched only into the second inning in giving up five runs, four earned. He struck out a pair but walked four.
Up next, Milwaukee continues its early season road trip with a journey to Coral Gables, Fla., to take on Miami in a three-game series Feb. 22-24.