Long Breaks School Record With 2-0 Shutout Over Valparaiso
March 29, 2013
CHICAGO, Ill. - Senior Jake Long recorded his second-straight shutout to lead the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee baseball team to a 2-0 victory over Valparaiso University Friday at Les Miller Field.
The Panthers (9-11, 5-2 Horizon League) plated a pair of runs to snap a seven-game slide against the Crusaders (9-14, 1-3 Horizon League). The series is being played in Chicago due to field conditions in Milwaukee.
Long (3-2), the reigning two-time Horizon League Pitcher of the Week, was at it again, tossing his second shutout in a row and third-straight complete game. He also broke the school record for scoreless innings in the sixth. Long walked two and struck out five, working out of trouble whenever needed. He allowed eight hits and stranded 12 Valpo baserunners.
"He was phenomenal. He really fought himself early in the game a little bit," Milwaukee head coach Scott Doffek said. "He put a lot of baserunners on and they had some good at bats against him. But what he did, and what he has continued to do, is make a really good pitch when he needs to and that ended up being the difference. They had some opportunities, but he really clutched up and executed pitches when he needed to."
Long ended the game with 26.0 straight scoreless frames, eclipsing the school record of 22.1 set by Robert Michalkiewicz in 2007.
Scoreless in the fourth inning, freshman Nick Unes made the play of the game, diving to his left to grab a ball headed for left field with runners on second and third base. He got to his feet and threw the runner out, preventing what could have been a pair of runs.
"The thing about Nick is that he always stays in the moment," Doffek said. "He just loves to play and compete. And, before you know it, he makes a layout play with runners on second and third, gets to his feet and throws the guy out. Just a huge play - the momentum of it was gigantic."
Long provided the rest of the theatrics, recording strikeouts to end the fifth and sixth innings, each time stranding runners on second and third.
Solberg got UWM on the board in the fourth, with his ground ball to third with runners on plating a run. Meeteer used his speed to leg out a hit and get an RBI in the fifth inning, easily beating out a chopper to the hole at shortstop.
The teams are back at Les Miller Field Saturday to wrap up the series with a doubleheader set to start at approximately 3:30 p.m. UIC does play Western Illinois prior, so the start time could move.