Big Innings Send Milwaukee Past Northern Illinois
April 24, 2012
DeKALB, Ill. - Freshman Eric King threw five shutout innings and junior Drew Pearson set a career-high with three hits and five runs batted in to lead the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee baseball team to a convincing 13-2 victory over Northern Illinois University Tuesday afternoon at Ralph McKinzie Field.
The Panthers (17-20) broke open a close game with a pair of big innings against the Huskies (11-28), plating four runs in the fifth inning and five more in the sixth to win going away.
"I thought King was effectively wild in the strike zone," UWM head coach Scott Doffek said. "He didn't walk anyone, but his command wasn't great. He didn't beat himself with walks, but made some really good pitches when he needed to. The fact that he kept putting up zeroes while we were tacking on, really allows you to feel confident in the batter's box."
In addition to Pearson, six other players recorded more than one hit, tallying 18 as a team overall in the contest for the second-highest one-game total of the season (20).
Senior Phil Striggow set career-highs with his three hits (3-for-4) and four runs scored. Sophomore Sam Koenig quickly extended his hitting streak to 13 games, doubling in a run in the top of the first as part of a 2-for-3 day.
"That's the hard part with this team," Doffek said. "We have a lot of guys who haven't had the opportunities sitting on the bench. With the schedule we have played, the games have been so close so it's been hard to get the bench involved like we did today. So, it was really great to see some of them step up today and bust loose like that."
Seniors Paul Hoenecke (2-for-5, 2 runs) and Jim Lundstrom (2-for-3), junior Will Fadness (2-for-5, 2 runs, RBI) and sophomore Tell Taylor (2-for-4, 3 RBI) all had great days to help Milwaukee to its fourth-straight win.
King (1-1) threw very well, pitching the first five innings to record his first collegiate victory. He allowed five hits, walked none and struck out three. The only true jam he faced came in the second, when he faced runners on second and third with just one out but did not allow a run.
Up 1-0, Taylor drove in a run in the second and Pearson turned a suicide squeeze opportunity into an RBI-single in the fourth with a perfect bunt to help tack on and make it 3-0 at the time.
The bats got busy in the fifth, with Striggow and Pearson each doubling to drive in three total runs. Then, in the sixth inning, Lundstrom had an RBI-triple, Fadness doubled in a run and Pearson put the topper on his day, singling to left center to plate his fourth and fifth RBI's of the day.
The Panthers return home for a big weekend showdown with Valparaiso University. Game one of the series is set for 3 p.m. Friday at Henry Aaron Field.