Milwaukee Baseball Wins Again, Claims 8-2 Victory Over UIC
April 26, 2013
MILWAUKEE - Senior Jake Long won his sixth start in a row and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee baseball team overcame a slow start offensively to claim an 8-2 victory over UIC Friday afternoon at Henry Aaron Field.
The Panthers (16-16, 9-4 Horizon League) trailed the Flames (19-19, 8-8 Horizon League) until they went ahead with two runs in the sixth inning and then added four more runs in the seventh to earn an important victory in game one of a three-game weekend series.
"They came out of the chute and put up two runs on us," UWM head coach Scott Doffek said. "I thought early in the game Jake really had a hard time getting on top of any of his pitches and to their credit they swung the bat really well. Jake did exactly what he's been doing. He went six-and-a-third and gave up 10 hits but they only got two runs in the first. He really kept us in the ballgame."
Long (6-2) did not have his best pitching line of the season, but constantly worked out of trouble and got big outs when he needed. He pitched into the seventh, working around 10 hits in allowing just two runs, one earned. He struck out three and walked two in his outing.
Long improved to 6-0 with a 0.96 ERA in his seven starts on the season and also improved to a perfect 5-0 with a 0.89 ERA in his five Horizon League starts in the 2013 campaign.
Sophomore Michael Porcaro led the offense with a 3-for-4 day, scoring twice and driving in a pair. Senior Jonathan Capasso had a pair of hits and drove in four runs and sophomores Derek Peake (2-for-5) and Luke Meeteer (2-for-4, 2 runs) each added multi-hit efforts.
UIC controlled the early part of the game behind starter Tomas Michaelson (5-3) and led, 2-1, in the top of the sixth inning. It looked like the Flames would add to that lead, but Meeteer and freshman catcher Mitch Ghelfi combined on the play of the game. With a runner on second and just one out, John Coen singled to center field. Meeteer fielded the ball and threw out the runner at home for out number two. Ghelfi then alertly threw down to second to get the other runner and complete the double play and change the momentum of the contest.
"Just a huge momentum play to get us in the dugout and only down one," Doffek said. "To be honest, if they score there I don't know if we keep Jake in the game. It was a huge play. It's not always about hitting. Luke stays in the moment and he did a great job of throwing a downhill strike to our catcher and Ghelfi did a great job."
The Panthers would go ahead in the bottom of the frame. Meeteer singled and stole second to start it out. Another hit by Porcaro gave UWM first and third. Following a strikeout, Porcaro would steal second and Meeteer would score on a ground out. Porcaro scored the go-ahead run next, coming home on a UIC error on a bunt back to the pitcher.
After a leadoff single in the seventh, Long was relieved by senior Alex Erdmann. Erdmann would get Milwaukee out of trouble and pitched the rest of the way to earn his second save of the season. He finished with 2.2 scoreless innings, allowing just one base hit.
The Panthers would tack on four more in the seventh to break it open. Porcaro had an RBI on an infield single, senior Nick Lingvay had a perfect suicide squeeze bunt that turned into an RBI-hit and Capasso laced a two-run single to center field.
Andres Ortegano led UIC with a 4-for-5 day, with Coen reaching base all five times on two hits and three walks. Michelson took the loss, but struck out eight and walked just one in his 6.1 innings.
Game two of the series gets underway at 1 p.m. tomorrow at Henry Aaron Field.