Panthers Cruise To 13-3 Victory Over Penguins In Opener
April 25, 2014
MILWAUKEE - Sophomore Brian Keller threw seven shutout innings and senior Ryan Solberg hit a home run and drove in a career-best five runs to lead the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee baseball team to a 13-3 victory over Youngstown State University Friday at Henry Aaron Field.
The Panthers (15-17, 7-6 Horizon League) jumped out early against the Penguins (8-27, 3-9 Horizon League) and never looked back, scoring four runs in the first inning on a pair of home runs.
"I thought once Keller got through the first, he settled down a bit and then we got those two home runs in the first inning to give us some momentum," UWM head coach Scott Doffek said. "He did a good job after that. For the most part, we have been playing better baseball, but we have another level - another gear left - for sure."
Keller (1-4) pitched very well despite a strong wind blowing out to left field. He allowed just five hits and when he did give up base runners, his defense was there to take care of the situation. UWM turned four double plays behind Keller, who left with a 13-0 lead following 105 pitches. He walked two and struck out six.
The fast start all came with two outs and nobody on in the first inning. Following a walk, Solberg launched his fifth home run of the season over the left field wall. That was followed by an infield single and another two-run home run, this one off the bat of junior Tyler Hermann.
"Ryan has been locked in almost the whole year," Doffek said. "He did a great job early in the game getting us the momentum. To come in the dugout with four runs after nobody on and two outs, that's huge."
The Panthers added two more in the second inning on a sac fly and an RBI-single from Solberg and continued to tack on from there. Only a ninth-inning YSU rally prevented the shutout.
Solberg ended the day 3-for-5 with the five RBI setting a new career-high.
Every starter in the UWM lineup had at least one hit. Four players recorded multi-hit games, including junior Derek Peake, who went 2-for-3, drove in a run and scored three times.
Junior Ryan McShane continued to swing a hot bat, driving in three runs on a pair of hits, including UWM's third home run of the day in the seventh inning, a two-run shot to left. Senior Pat Wilson ended the afternoon 2-for-4 with a pair of runs scored. Junior Mike Porcaro had a base hit and walked twice, extending his hitting streak to nine games.
The two teams return to Henry Aaron Field for game two tomorrow, set to start at 1 p.m.