Michalkiewicz Leads Way As UWM Shuts Out Butler, 1-0
April 7, 2007
MILWAUKEE - Senior Robert Michalkiewicz struck out seven and did not allow a walk in throwing a complete-game shutout, leading the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee baseball team to a 1-0 victory over Butler on Saturday night at Miller Park. The effort helped the Panthers (6-17, 5-3 Horizon) to the doubleheader split after the Bulldogs (11-17, 4-7 Horizon) won the opener, 5-2.
"Michalkiewicz was just outstanding ... phenomenal," UWM head coach Scott Doffek said. "He worked ahead, threw his cutter in, threw some big pitches in some tight situations later in the game. He was fantastic. The way we were swinging the bats, we needed it, so the timing was good on that one."
Senior Rob Brockel hit a home run to left field in the first inning and Michalkiewicz did the rest. He scattered seven hits and was in command from start to finish, tying his career-high with seven strikeouts.
"It really felt good today," Michalkiewicz said. "I was able to get ahead and was then able to throw my curveball for strikes. That's what I haven't been able to do lately and it really helped me out."
He made big pitches when needed, stranding Bulldog runners on second and third base in the seventh and second innings, inducing a come backer to end the seventh and recording a big strikeout to get out of the early jam.
UWM managed just five hits off Ryan Kruszka (2-3), who took the loss despite going the distance. Brockel, sophomore Shawn Wozniak, senior Ross McCoy, sophomore Josh Groves and freshman Shaun Wegner all had hits for UWM.
In game one, the Panthers dropped their home opener for the first time in 12 years, falling 5-2. The loss also snapped what was a nine-game winning streak against the Bulldogs.
"It was pretty disappointing," Doffek said. "We did not play well at all. We didn't swing the bats very well; we didn't execute the offensive plan. We did pitch the ball well, though. (Dan) Luczak pitched well enough to give us an opportunity to win the game but we just did not execute. You have to give their pitchers some credit too."
Butler jumped out in front with two runs on two hits in the first, getting a little help on a UWM error to plate one of those unearned. The Bulldogs made it a 4-0 lead in the third on Joe Pauley's two-run home run to left.
Milwaukee could not get much going against BU starter Jon Dages (3-4), who limited UWM to one hit through the first five innings. The Panthers scored once in the sixth, getting on the board when Wegner and senior Kyle Silver hit back-to-back doubles to make it 4-1.
Junior Nick Wichser ended a Butler rally in the seventh, making a highlight-reel catch running into the left field fence with runners on second and third base to end the inning.
Butler added an insurance run in the eighth and McCoy's run-scoring double in the ninth closed out the scoring.
Junior Dan Luczak (2-5) threw well in defeat, striking out seven and walking two in seven innings of work. Dages threw eight innings, allowing five hits, walking none and striking out five.
The Panthers continue Horizon League play Tuesday, hosting UIC for a doubleheader starting at 1 p.m. at Henry Aaron Field.