Keller And Bullpen Lead UWM To 4-3 Win Over UIC
April 18, 2004
MILWAUKEE - All good pitchers know this. If you throw strikes, keep the ball on the ground, and use the elements to your advantage you can be successful. Following Sunday's (April 18) game, you can certainly put University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee sophomore Korey Keller in the "good pitcher" category. The righthander, along with two relievers, held the University of Illinois-Chicago to a season-low tying six hits en route to a 4-3 victory in the finale of a four-game Horizon League series. With the victory, UWM (12-17, 4-4) earned a split in the season series while UIC dropped to 23-11 overall and 6-2 in league action.
With a 25+ mile an hour wind blowing straight in from centerfield, both Keller and UIC starter Ryan Gehring worked quickly, threw strikes, and got solid defense early on. The Flames did draw first blood in the top of the third when Shane Crowder tripled past a diving Ross McCoy in rightfield before Mark Bruszer drove him home with an RBI base hit. After the two hits, Keller settled in and retired 15 of the next 16 batters, mostly on ground balls in the infield.
Meanwhile, the Panther offense tied the game with a solo run in the third before busting out for three crucial scores in the bottom of the fourth. McCoy led off the third with a single and, after a stolen base, advanced to third on a Blake Kangas sacrifice bunt. Brooks Graff then drove home the first run of the game with a solid single to center. Sam Jansen continued the rally with an infield base hit but Gehring got Ben Stanczyk to ground into a double play to end the inning.
The UWM bats stayed hot in the fourth which led to the eventual game-winning rally. Matt Alexander singled to start the inning and moved to second on a throwing error by third baseman Nelson Gord. Nicholas Wichser was hit then hit by a pitch and a Charlie Reschke sacrifice bunt moved both players up a base. Catcher Jeremy Wilson provided the big blow with a two-run single to centerfield to give UWM the 3-1 lead. Wilson then made it 4-1 Panthers thanks to a McCoy single and an error by right fielder J.P. Moran.
Keller continued to cruise before running into trouble in the top of the eighth inning. Crowder, Bruszer, and Todd Rosinksi all singled to load the bases with no outs. Gord then drove home a run with a ground out to Reschke. After a walk to Mike Hughes, UIC then made it 4-3 when Justin Johnson delivered an RBI base hit to left field. The spent Keller was relieved by reliever-extraordinare Jed Dolske who induced a third-to-home-to first double play with the bases loaded to end the rally and keep the Panthers in front.
Gehring held UWM scoreless in the bottom of the eighth, setting the stage for the top of the ninth. Milwaukee skipper Jerry Augustine went to Friday's starter and winner, Ben Stanczyk to save the game for Keller. The righty responed with a 1-2-3 inning to post his third save of the season while giving UWM the split of the four-game weekend series.
Keller improved to 3-3 on the year by allowing just six hits and three earned runs in a season-high 7.1 innings of work. Stanczyk notched his third save of the year with his inning of work while Dolske earned a hold while pitching in his Horizon League best 17th game.
Milwaukee will remain at home on Tuesday (Apr. 20) when Bradley University comes to town for two, seven-inning games. The first game is schedule to begin at 2:30 p.m. at Henry Aaron Field.