Panthers Finally Play At Home; Blank Northwestern 5-0
April 24, 2013
MILWAUKEE - After losing 12 contests to the weather the past few weeks, the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee baseball team finally got the chance to play its first home game of the 2013 season Wednesday and responded with a 5-0 defeat of Northwestern University at Miller Park.
The Panthers (14-16) broke open a scoreless game against the Wildcats (17-15) with three runs in the sixth inning before adding a pair of insurance runs in the eighth. The team earned the victory wearing throwback uniforms, honoring the "Green Gulls", the nickname of the Milwaukee athletic program from 1927-1951.
"It's been a crazy, crazy spring," UWM head coach Scott Doffek said. "I know our guys were just itching to play at home, so what better opportunity could you come up with than this. And to couple it with a shutout, you can't get any better than that."
Junior Tyler Thicke got the start and responded with three perfect innings, retiring all nine batters he faced with one strikeout.
"That was exactly what he needed and we needed," Doffek said. "He's really been throwing the ball well over the last three weeks. It was great to see him get a positive result."
Junior Mike Schneider (5-2) picked up the victory, tossing the fifth and the sixth innings. He gave up two hits and got out of trouble when the Wildcats posed their only real threat of the day. After a hit batter and a single, NU had runners on the corners with just one out in the sixth. Schneider induced a pop up to short left field and an infield pop to third to end the threat.
In addition, senior Cale Tassi worked one inning with a pair of strikeouts, sophomore Justin Jaquish pitched two scoreless frames and sophomore Joshua Uhen worked the ninth to help UWM pick up its sixth shutout of the 2013 campaign.
The Panthers dented the scoreboard in the sixth. After a walk and an error, Koenig laced a double off the glove of a diving third baseman for the first run. Two more walks and a passed ball on an attempt to intentionally walk a batter gave UWM another run and the third scored on a wild pitch.
"We talked before the game about finding ways to put pressure on the defense," Doffek said. "I think in that inning, we did that with our feet - stole some bases, faked a squeeze. We did not swing the bats well; you could tell we haven't played a game in almost two weeks. But, speed kills."
Peake and Porcaro then added RBI-singles to close out the scoring in the eighth.
NU was limited to just four hits on the day, two from leadoff batter Trevor Stevens, who was robbed of a third hit on a brilliant diving play by sophomore Luke Meeteer in center field to start the game.
The Panthers are right back at it tomorrow, opening the slate at Henry Aaron Field against Carroll University in a 1 p.m. start.