Panthers Scratch Out 3-1 Decision To Claim Eighth Straight Win
May 2, 2013
MILWAUKEE - The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee baseball team was limited to just a pair of hits against Cardinal Stritch University, but made them both count in claiming a 3-1 victory Thursday afternoon at Henry Aaron Field.
The Panthers (21-16) closed out the long homestand with the victory over the Wolves (20-27), extending their win streak to eight games in a row, the longest in over two seasons.
"We were very fortunate," Milwaukee head coach Scott Doffek said. "He walked a couple of guys and Porcaro keeps doing what he has been doing and gets another big hit. That kid (Erickson) deserves a lot of credit - I am very thankful that he is not in our league. There is a reason he was at Virginia Tech - that was pretty good stuff."
That was all that Luke Erickson (3-5) would allow on the day, striking out 14 Panthers in his complete-game outing, but struggling with control in issuing seven walks.
"He was better than pretty good - he was dynamic," Doffek said. "He was as good as we have seen all year. Early in the game he struggled a bit, but that kid can really pitch."
Sophomore Gunnar Eastman (2-1) earned the start for Milwaukee and responded with a gem of his own, allowing just one unearned run and two hits in 7.0 quality innings of work. He struck out four but did walk five, with Stritch scoring its lone run on a passed ball in the top of the third.
"That was huge for him to step up and give us seven innings like that," Doffek said. "And really, it was because of him that we had a chance to win the game. Gunner kept us in the ballgame and we got a couple of two-out hits and that was the difference."
The UWM defense also played a key role, turning a pair of inning-ending double plays. After a walk, hit batter and infield single in the second, the Panthers turned a tough 4-6-3 double play to get out of it. Then, clinging to a 3-1 lead in the eighth, with two on and nobody out, another twin killing helped preserve the victory.
Sophomore Luke Meeteer walked twice, stole a base and scored a pair of runs. Lingvay was 1-for-2 with two walks and scored the other run.
Up next, it's off to Valparaiso for a three-game set against the Crusaders starting Friday.