Panthers Can't Climb Back Against Huskies
May 15, 2012
MILWAUKEE - The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee baseball team overcame an early deficit to tie the game in the third inning, but a season-high five errors led to six unearned runs as Northern Illinois University claimed a 10-4 victory Tuesday at Henry Aaron Field.
The Panthers (23-25) tied the game at 3-3 in the bottom of the third, only to see the Huskies (15-37) respond with five unanswered runs to take control.
"This is always a tough week for us to play with exams," Milwaukee head coach Scott Doffek said. "Especially with us coming off the road, you could tell we did not come to play. We really lost in all three facets of the game - it started with our pitching and our defense. That got us behind early."
The contest also featured a 94-minute rain delay in the top of the seventh inning.
"When the rain delay hit, we had given up seven runs on five singles and a home run," Doffek said. "That's just not a recipe for `W's'. We just beat ourselves. We had runners at third with less than two outs on a couple of occasions and did not get them in."
Senior Paul Hoenecke continued his hot streak at the plate, leading the way with a perfect 4-for-4 night that included a run scored and an RBI. Senior Jim Lundstrom was the only other player with more than one hit, finishing 2-for-4.
Freshman Luke Meeteer did extend his hitting streak to 14 games with an infield single, marking the longest hitting streak of any UWM player this season.
Brett Fantini led NIU with two hits and four runs batted in, including a three-run home run in the top of the second.
The Panthers did chip away and tied the game quickly. Junior Jonathan Capasso drove in a run in the second with a single. Sophomore Sam Koenig had an RBI-double in the third and the game was tied at 3-3 on junior Will Fadness' sacrifice fly.
Errors proved costly all night, especially in the seventh inning when the Huskies plated four runs - all unearned - combining five hits with three Milwaukee miscues to take control before the rains started to come down.
Freshman Joshua Uhen got the start and pitched the first three innings, allowing three runs - just one earned - and recording a pair of strikeouts. Junior Alex Erdmann (2-1) suffered the loss, allowing a single unearned tally that gave Northern the lead it would not relinquish. He pitched 3.0 innings, giving up just one hit and striking out five.
Eli Anderson (2-2) recorded the victory despite allowing two runs in 2.0 innings of work.
Up next, the Panthers close out the 2012 regular season with a three-game series against Wright State. First game is set for Thursday, with a first pitch of 4 p.m.
"This weekend - in the standings - is not substantial, but we want to have momentum going into the tournament," Doffek said. "So in that regard, this is a big weekend. Right now, their focus needs to be on their exams and their schoolwork, but this weekend is huge for us."