Panthers' Long Shuts Down St. Louis In Series Opener
ST. LOUIS, Mo. (April 12, 2013) - Jake Long scattered five hits on the way to his third shutout and fourth complete-game of the season, guiding the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee baseball team to a 4-0 win over St. Louis Friday evening at the Billiken Sports Center.
The Panthers (13-14) snapped SLU's (23-11) six-game winning streak behind Long's (5-2) dominating performance. They also got timely hitting, as Michael Porcaro went 2-for-4 and drove in the game's first runs with a two-run single in the third.
"Jake (Long) did a great job again, throwing inside and outside," Milwaukee head coach Scott Doffek said. "He pitched ahead most of the game and had a pretty good mix going. It was cold, but it was a day with the wind blowing out a bit. You show up thinking it's a day where it might be tough to pitch, then you look up in the fifth inning and they have four hits, it's just what he does."
Long worked around a leadoff double in the first inning, but was unthreatened until the fourth when St. Louis loaded the bases with one out. After a groundout, back-to-back singles from Braxton Martinez and Mike Vigliarolo, then a walk to Jordan Hammerman, loaded the bases. Long then induced a slow roller to short that Alex Erdmann used to start a 6-4-3 double play to end the threat.
St. Louis would get two more base runners the remainder of the game, as Long retired 13-straight hitters from the fifth through ninth innings. He didn't strike out his first batter until the sixth inning, when he fanned a pair. The senior hurler finished with three strikeouts, while allowing just two walks in the complete game effort.
In a battle of staff aces, Long outdueled the Billiken's Alex Aleman (5-2). UWM struck for two runs in both the third and fourth innings to provide all the necessary offense.
In the third, Sam Koenig led off with a walk and, two batters later, Derek Peake singled. Both runners moved up on a ground out and Porcaro followed with a single to right plating the pair. An inning later, Ryan Solberg doubled and Jonathan Capasso followed with a single. Both runners scored on consecutive RBI singles from Koenig and Erdmann.
In addition to Porcaro, Peake and Erdmann also had two hits apiece, while eight of the nine starters finished with at least one base hit.
Aleman went six innings, surrendering 10 hits and walking one, while striking out three. Brett Vanover finished the game with three innings of relief, surrendering just one hit.
The Panthers and Billikens continue the series Saturday, squaring off at 1 p.m. The series then wraps up Sunday at noon.