Fast Start Sends Milwaukee Past Cardinal Stritch
April 21, 2011
MILWAUKEE - Senior Doug Dekoning doubled, homered and drove in four runs to lead the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee baseball team to a 7-5 victory over Cardinal Stritch University Thursday at Henry Aaron Field. Dekoning's three-run home run capped a six-run second inning for the Panthers (16-17), helping the team stay perfect all-time against the Wolves (12-22).
Milwaukee started quickly and held on from there, with senior Jayme Sukowaty and junior Greg Blohowiak combining on four innings of solid relief. The win improved UWM to 7-0 all-time against Stritch, defeating CSU for the third-straight season.
"Early on, it looked like we were going to come out and swing the bats well," Milwaukee head coach Scott Doffek said. "We just pressed a little bit. But you have to give their guy a lot of credit. They could have just as easily fallen asleep and let the game go and they didn't. The one thing I really liked was our defense. We made some plus-defensive plays and that ended up being the difference in the game."
The Panthers jumped ahead quickly, plating six runs in the second inning - five of them coming with two outs. Junior Paul Hoenecke tripled to lead off the inning and a sacrifice fly plated him. Senior Cole Kraft added a two-out single that drove in two before Dekoning followed with a three-run blast to right - his fifth home run of the year.
"Get two-out hits, throw strikes and make routine plays," Doffek said. "That is the key to baseball. Everybody knows that two-out hits are fleeting - you're not going to get them every day. Typically, the days you get them, you are going to win ball games and today was no different. Doug just keeps doing what he's been doing and we are riding his coattails a little bit."
The Wolves battled back from there. After getting to sophomore starter Jordan Guth (1-1) for a run in the fourth, they added three more in fifth to make it a 6-4 game at the time. Paul Blair added a home run to make it 6-5 in the seventh, but UWM responded with a run of its own in the bottom half on a Dekoning ground out to push the lead back to two.
Sukowaty came in to start the fifth inning and pitched well, allowing only Blair's home run in his 3.0 innings of work. Blohowiak came on in the ninth with a runner on base, but junior Phil Striggow alertly let a little flare to first base drop in front of him to turn the double play. Guth struck out four in his 5.0 innings to get the win, with Blohowiak adding a strikeout to end the game and record his first save of the campaign.
"With Jordan, we are kind of tinkering with some mechanical issues," Doffek said. "He was kind of thinking and trying to compete at the same time and he did a pretty good job with it. But then Jayme came in and did a great job putting up some zeroes and Blow came in and worked a scoreless ninth."
The UWM offense was outhit on the day, 9-to-7, with Dekoning (2-for-3, walk, 4 RBI) and sophomore Nick Lingvay (2-for-4, 2 runs) the only players with more than one hit. Nate Friday (1-6) suffered the loss despite allowing just five hits and one earned run.
Milwaukee gets set to welcome Wright State for a key weekend series. Game one of the three-game set has been pushed up to try and beat the weather and will now start at 1 p.m. Friday afternoon.