Panthers Break Open Close Game To Post 10-5 Victory
March 15, 2008
CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. - Junior Brad Lusti struck out seven batters in six innings and senior John Sarcia's two-run pinch-hit single highlighted a five-run seventh inning to lead the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee baseball team to a 10-5 victory over Austin Peay Saturday. The Panthers (3-10) collected 12 hits in the contest to defeat the Governors (7-7) for the second-straight day.
"The conditions were certainly not that conducive to hitting today [weather-wise] but the guys did a really good job of executing the little things," UWM head coach Scott Doffek said. "We kept pressure on them, moved runners around and came up with some big two-out hits again."
The decisive five-run outburst was started by senior Nick Wichser, as his suicide squeeze bunt drove in the first run of the frame to make it 5-2 on the scoreboard. Junior Ben Long followed with an RBI-single to left to make it 6-2. After senior Troy Vesling walked, Sarcia came on and singled sharply to center to drive in two and break the game open.
"What a great thing to do," Doffek said. "You are sitting here on your hands, 48 degrees, and come up in a crucial situation ready to play and he put a great swing on it."
Sophomore Shaun Wegner closed out the scoring in the inning, driving in another base runner with a line drive to left that plated Vesling.
Lusti (1-1) did the rest after coming on in the third inning. He earned the victory with six strong innings, allowing just four hits and one run. He struck out seven and walked just one in his outing.
"Boy, that is how you draw it up ... that is exactly it," Doffek said. "We got an early lead and he just thumped the strike zone, put the ball in play and really kept the momentum in our dugout."
Senior Ben McClarey came on in the ninth, retiring three straight with one strikeout after the Govs rallied for three in the inning.
Junior Andy Hetebrueg, making his first start in the infield this season, drove in two pivotal runs with a single in the fourth inning, turning what was a tight 2-1 UWM lead into a 4-2 advantage at the time.
The Panthers jumped out to a quick 2-0 lead in the first. Junior Andy Gerhartz led off the game by getting hit with a pitch and moved to second on Hetebrueg's single. Senior Jesse Hart then executed a perfect hit-and-run, driving in Gerhartz with a single to the hole at shortstop that did not even make it out of the infield. Wichser also added a run-scoring single in the frame.
Wichser, Gerhartz, Hetebrueg and Hart all ended the day with two hits each. Rafael Hill led APSU with a perfect 4-for-4 day at the plate.
These two teams wrap up their weekend series with a noon start tomorrow.