Baseball Finishes Off Weekend Sweep Of Valparaiso
March 30, 2013
CHICAGO, Ill. - Junior Mike Schneider did not allow an earned run into the eighth inning and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee baseball team cruised to an 8-2 victory to complete a three-game weekend sweep of Valparaiso University Saturday at Les Miller Field.
"We did a good job and we caught some breaks today, but Mike Schneider did a great job of mixing four pitches," UWM head coach Scott Doffek said. "And, when we did score, he'd put up a zero and that would allow our hitters to really feel comfortable. When he gets it rolling like that, he's tough."
The Panthers (11-11, 7-2 Horizon League) beat the Crusaders (9-16, 1-5 Horizon League) by a score of 7-5 in the doubleheader opener and have now won six of their past seven games.
"We are happy with the start," Doffek said. "We know we can play a little better and I know these guys are going to work hard and relish the challenges. They are doing well."
Schneider (4-1) pitched brilliantly, striking out a career-best 10 batters while walking just one in 7.2 innings, allowing a single unearned run while giving up just five hits.
Freshman Mitch Ghelfi had a huge day at the plate, going 4-for-4 in game two - part of a 7-for-8 combined effort in the two games.
Milwaukee blew open a close game in the nightcap, batting around in the fifth inning to turn a 2-0 lead into an 8-0 advantage and cruised from there. Sophomore Michael Porcaro highlighted the frame with a three-run home run down the left field line, the first of his career.
"Mike has been having a great season," Doffek said. "He just loves to play and the great thing about him is that you just aren't going to outwork the kid. When you have that combination of hard work and the love to play and compete, it's just so fun to watch."
Senior Jonathan Capasso also had a two-run triple in the rally as part of a 3-for-4, three-RBI contest in which he also scored a pair of runs.
Milwaukee had 12 hits in the game, with senior Drew Pearson going 2-for-3 with a pair of RBI's to round out the multi-hit efforts.
In the opener, junior Ryan Solberg provided heroics with the bat and the glove to help UWM to a 7-5 victory. He popped a two-run home run in the first inning to give Milwaukee a 3-0 lead and a much-needed fast start.
Up 4-2 in the sixth, he used his glove to keep the game from changing. After Valparaiso had loaded the bases with two outs, Solberg snared a ground ball headed down the first base line with a diving stop, making the play and beating the runner to the base to end the threat.
"For me, that was the play of the day," Doffek said. "Tassi worked himself into trouble and Solberg makes that play. That was just a huge momentum play for the team."
UWM added a pair of much-needed insurance runs in the seventh inning, with Porcaro tripling in a run and Ghelfi driving him in with a single.
Porcaro went 3-for-4 with two runs scored and two driven in, with Ghelfi adding three hits in four at bats. Sophomore Derek Peake chipped in with a 2-for-4 effort from the leadoff position.
Senior Cale Tassi (3-3) picked up the victory despite some wildness. He worked into the sixth inning, allowing two earned runs in 5.2 innings. He walked four but did not record a strikeout. Sophomore Joshua Uhen worked a 1-2-3 ninth for his second save of the year.
Up next, Milwaukee heads to Northern Illinois for a midweek game, starting at 3 p.m. Wednesday.