Panthers Drop Doubleheader To Wright State
April 23, 2011
MILWAUKEE - Wright State University broke open a close game in the opener and then completed a sweep by taking the nightcap against the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee baseball team Saturday at Henry Aaron Field, winning by scores of 8-4 and 8-0 on the day.
The Panthers (16-20, 7-5 Horizon League) led game one until a seventh-inning rally by the Raiders (24-12, 8-3 Horizon League). The loss in the second game then marked the first time Wright State has swept Milwaukee in a weekend series since 2003 and gave UWM its first three-game losing streak at home since the 2007 season.
"This is not a time to feel sorry for ourselves," UWM head coach Scott Doffek said. "We just told the guys that Wednesday [against NIU] is a huge baseball game. We need to come out and set the tone and play the game the right way. You could tell today. We lost the first two games of the series that were close, well-played college baseball games. I thought in the last game, we showed our youth emotionally and didn't come out to play."
In the opener, sophomore Eric Semmelhack pitched well until running into some trouble in the seventh. Up 3-2 at the time, UWM gave up the lead when the Raiders strung together three hits in the frame, the biggest being Tristan Moore's two-out double that plated two runs to push WSU's advantage to 5-3.
"Eric gave us a good start," Doffek said. "I thought he was pretty sharp and kept us in the game. They got some critical two-out hits, which we were unable to get and their bullpen was much better than ours. That was the difference. We didn't come out of the bullpen and pitch with conviction or intent all weekend and they will be the first to admit it."
The Panthers would get one back in the bottom of the seventh on a Raider error, but that was as close as they would get. Wright State would go on to tack on three more unearned runs in the ninth for the final difference in the 8-4 decision.
The UWM offense collected 10 hits in the contest, with senior Cole Kraft (3-for-5) and sophomore Jonathan Capasso (3-for-4) leading the way. Senior Sam Sivilotti also added a 2-for-4 day and scored twice.
Semmelhack did not factor in the decision, allowing three runs on eight hits in 6.1 innings, striking out three. Senior Cuyler Franzke worked the final 2.0 innings, giving up no earned runs.
In the nightcap, Wright State plated a pair of runs in both the second and third innings and cruised from there in the 8-0 victory. Michael Woytek (5-2) limited the potent Milwaukee offense to three hits through 6.0 innings. UWM managed just four hits overall, with senior Doug Dekoning extending his hitting streak to 10 games with a double.
"Offensively, it started about a week ago, where we have been tight and not putting together good at bats at all," Doffek said. "Just not putting together good approaches - you can just see the tentative approach. We have plenty of good hitters and we will get it back, we just have to go to work and find a way to spark some confidence again."
Milwaukee closes out the month of April with five more games, traveling to play Northern Illinois midweek before hosting four Horizon League games on the weekend. Friday's action will take place from Miller Park, set for a first pitch of 3 p.m. The midweek game against the Huskies starts at 6 p.m. and will be played at Elfstrom Stadium - home of the Kane County Cougars (Class A affiliate of the Kansas City Royals) - in Geneva, Ill.