Panthers Score Final Seven Runs To Drop Minnesota, 13-6
March 3, 2010
MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. - Junior Doug Dekoning broke open a tie game with a three-run home run in the fifth inning to help propel the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee baseball team to a 13-6 victory over the University of Minnesota Wednesday night at the Metrodome. The Panthers (1-4) scored the final seven runs of the contest and held the Golden Gophers (2-5) to just two hits in the last five innings in recording their first victory of the 2010 season.
Sophomore Paul Hoenecke powered the offense with a perfect 3-for-3 day, collecting two doubles and three runs batted in.
"We had the momentum out of the dugout right away in the first inning but then just didn't pitch as well as we wanted to," UWM head coach Scott Doffek said. "We put ourselves in a situation where they were able to tie the game, really, on a lot of our unforced errors. To get the momentum back on our side with a two-out, three-run home run was critical. From there our hitters just did a really nice job of tacking on runs."
Junior Cuyler Franzke (1-1) came on in the fifth and threw three scoreless innings to pick up the victory. He allowed just one hit and struck out two. Sophomore Greg Blohowiak blanked Minnesota - ranked No. 30 in the Collegiate Baseball Magazine preseason baseball poll - the final two innings, also allowing just one hit.
"Cuyler came in and really settled it down," Doffek said. "We had been struggling for a little bit on the mound and he did a really good job coming in and putting up a couple of critical zeroes. And then Greg did a nice job of putting it away."
Following Dekoning's game-changing home run in the fifth, UWM iced it in the sixth inning on senior Tim Patzman's two-run double. Freshman Jonathan Capasso also added a sacrifice fly in the frame to make it 12-6 at the time.
Milwaukee also scored in each of the first four innings, adding to it's advantage in the fourth with a two-out rally. Following a single by Dekoning, a fielding error extended the inning and put two runners on. Hoenecke and senior Ben Long then followed with run-scoring singles to make it 6-2, only to see Minnesota battle back and tie it at six apiece.
UWM had made the lead to 4-1 in the third on an RBI-single through the left side by junior Chad Pierce. Hoenecke added his second sacrifice fly of the game in the frame. The Panthers recorded solo tallies in the first and the second, plating runs on the sac fly and also on a balk.
Milwaukee pounded out at least 10 hits for the third-consecutive game - tying its season-high with 14 - and set a season-high for runs scored. The victory also marked the first for UWM over Minnesota since March of 1998.
"You could see it progressing already last week," Doffek said. "And, today our guys came out from the time we got off the bus and took batting practice ... we carried that over to the game with quality at bats and made their pitchers work for every out."
Dekoning ended with two hits, three runs scored and three driven in. Patzman had two hits and also drove in three, with Capasso also contributing with a multi-hit effort, going 2-for-3 and scoring twice. Michael Kvasnicka led the Gophers with a 3-for-5 outing.
The Panthers hit the road tomorrow, heading to Clarksville, Tenn., for the Riverview Invitational. UWM and host Austin Peay get things started Friday at 3 p.m.