Milwaukee Baseball Claims League Title With Sweep Of Youngstown
May 11, 2013
MILWAUKEE - With a sweep of Youngstown State University and a loss by its closest competitor in the standings, the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee baseball team claimed the 2013 Horizon League regular-season title with a pair of victories, earning a 12-7 win in game one and an 8-0 shutout in game two Saturday at Henry Aaron Field.
The Panthers (25-19, 13-7 Horizon League) used a big offensive showing against the Penguins (14-36, 8-12 Horizon League) to take game one and capped it with a shutout to earn their first regular-season crown since the 2001 season.
Milwaukee got a pair of brilliant starting pitching performances on the day, getting a complete-game shutout from senior Cale Tassi (5-5) in game two and seven strong innings from senior Jake Long (7-3) in the opener.
"It's a tremendous amount of work - I will tell you that much. It feels really good," Milwaukee head coach Scott Doffek said. "We have had to deal with an unbelievable amount of adversity all year with the schedule and the weather and the lack of practice. I am really happy for those guys - they really deserve it. They didn't give in to any of it and never felt sorry for themselves. It's just a really good team - a great group of kids that really love each other and work hard and it's really rewarding to see them be successful."
On a windy day that made pitching tough, Long took the ball in the opener and did what he has been doing all season. He allowed just one run in 7.0 innings, scattering five hits while striking out a career-high eight batters. He improved to 6-1 in seven league starts and sports a 1.60 ERA in that span.
"It started with Jake, he was really sharp early in that baseball game and gave us an opportunity to get some momentum in the dugout," Doffek said. "We have to give our hitters a ton of credit - it was just good at bat after good at bat - we had 20-plus hits and only struck out once. And then Cale picked up where he left off last week."
After a scoreless first inning, the Panthers started the offensive barrage. They scored at least one run in each of the second through sixth innings, with senior Will Fadness hitting a three-run home run in the fourth inning to break it open.
For the game, sophomore Luke Meeteer led the way with a 4-for-5 effort, scoring twice and driving in a pair. Fadness finished 3-for-5 and had four RBI's and sophomore Michael Porcaro was 3-for-5 and scored twice.
Five other players came through with multi-hit performances: sophomore Derek Peake (2-for-4), freshman Mitch Ghelfi (2-for-5), junior Ryan Solberg (2-for-3, 2 runs scored), junior Sam Koenig (2-for-4, 2 RBI) and senior Alex Erdmann (2-for-4, 2 runs) all led the hit parade.
In game two, Tassi was brilliant, throwing the complete game in allowing no runs on six hits. He walked four and struck out six and got out of any trouble he got into, as not a single Penguin made it to third base in the contest.
Up, 3-0, after four innings, a pair of two-run home runs put the game away. Ghelfi hit his in the sixth inning and Meeteer followed with his in the seventh.
Fadness (2-for-4) led the way in game two, with Meeteer (1-for-2, 2 runs, 2 RBI) and Ghelfi (2 RBI) chipping in.
Up next, the Panthers will close out the 2013 Horizon League slate with the final game of the YSU series on Sunday. Game time is set for 1 p.m., with "Senior Day" being celebrated as the team honors its seven-member senior class with a pregame ceremony.