Striggow's Home Run Helps Panthers Past Raiders
May 17, 2012
MILWAUKEE - Senior Phil Striggow hit a two-run home run with two outs in the bottom of the eighth inning to help send the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee baseball team to a thrilling 7-6 victory over Wright State University Thursday evening at Henry Aaron Field.
The home run broke a 5-5 tie and gave the Panthers (24-25, 16-11 Horizon League) a two-run lead headed into the ninth inning. The Raiders (36-17, 20-8 Horizon League) scored once and had the tying run at first base with one out, but junior Jake Long was able to work out of the jam and record his second save of the season.
"That (home run) was huge and we will take it," UWM head coach Scott Doffek said. "We knew today was going to be tough. We were going to limit our innings on the mound - (Eric) Semmelhack was only going to go about 60 pitches - and that was going to expose our bullpen which is a little tired right now."
Things appeared to be headed Milwaukee's way early, as the team jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first and led, 5-1, after junior Will Fadness launched a three-run home run to deep left in the third.
But WSU responded, scoring two more in the fourth and single runs in the fifth and sixth innings to make it a new game and set the stage for Striggow's team-leading sixth home run of the season, which just cleared the fence and banged off the foul pole on the way down.
"We just did not play very well, but (Justin) Jaquish did a nice job in the middle part of that game of settling it down and Striggow just happens to catch one clean and we win in the eighth," Doffek said. "He's just a strong dude. He didn't hit that - he got some backspin on it and popped it up - he just muscled it out."
Sophomore Sam Koenig paced UWM at the plate with a 3-for-4 day, scoring a run and driving in another. Freshman Michael Porcaro was 2-for-4 and scored twice and Fadness' three RBI led the team. Freshman Luke Meeteer also had a hit to extend his hitting streak to 15 games.
Michael Timm led the Raiders with three hits and a pair of runs batted in. Four other players also recorded two hits each.
Striggow's home run made a winner out of senior Kaleb Engelke (2-0), who came on in the top of the eighth and got out of a jam by throwing just a single pitch. Freshman Justin Jaquish provided a solid effort out of the bullpen, giving up a pair of runs in 4.0 innings, walking none and striking out four. Junior Eric Semmelhack started, but was relieved after allowing three runs - though just one earned - in 3.1 innings.
Jordan Marker (9-2) suffered the loss despite 5.0 solid innings of relief outside of the home run to Striggow.
The Panthers jumped out to the early lead in the first, scoring on a Koenig single and a sacrifice fly off the bat of senior Paul Hoenecke. The other five runs in the game came off the two home runs.
These two teams continue the final league series of the regular season tomorrow, set for a first pitch of 2 p.m. at Henry Aaron Field.