Solberg, Tuttle Power Panthers To Big Win
May 17, 2014
MILWAUKEE - Eric Solberg drove in a pair late and also scored a run to help the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee close out the regular season with a 4-1 win over Wright State at Henry Aaron Field Saturday afternoon.
The Panthers (19-27, 10-14 Horizon League) got a solid seven innings of work from starter Jake Tuttle and made the most of their six hits to take down the league-leading Raiders (33-20, 25-4 Horizon) heading into the Horizon League Tournament.
"We have three seniors on this team," UWM head coach Scott Doffek said. "It's the last time they'll get an opportunity to play here. Over the course of their career we've won a lot of games here. It hasn't gone our way a lot this year, but it was good to see them be able to close their career at The Hank with a W.
"And, good for our team to kind of get the monkey off our back going into the tournament. We're pretty banged up but you never know, crazy things can happen. Like I told them and they told me, we're 0-0. So is Wright State's. Everyone is 0-0. If you pitch well, get two-out hits and play good defense you've got a chance to beat anybody."
Milwaukee got on the board right away in the bottom half of the first inning. After a one-out single and a stolen base by Ryan McShane, Pat Wilson tallied his 27th RBI of the season with a two-out single
One inning later, the Panthers were at it again. E. Solberg walked, stole both second and third base and then scored on a passed ball to make it 2-0 UWM.
From there it was all Tuttle. The sophomore didn't allow a hit until there were two out in the top of the fourth and scattered six hits in all.
Wright State managed to get one run back in the sixth, but Tuttle was able to get out of a bases-loaded jam with a popup to Nick Unes to close out the threat and maintain the lead.
"Jake did a really good job today," Doffek said. "Two walks and a hit by pitch - that's been his issue. He beats himself sometimes. Today he was really good for the most part. He pitched ahead and I thought we played good defense behind him, too. Throw strikes and good things happen. And then Adam (Reuss) also did a good job pounding the zone coming in in relief to close it out."
Milwaukee then plated two more in the ninth to put the game out of reach. With the bases loaded and two down, E. Solberg again came up with the big hit, pounding the ball through the left side to plate Wilson and brother Ryan Solberg for some well-deserved insurance runs.
"That was huge," Doffek said. "The last two games, I don't know the number of times we've had guys on second base with two outs and not come up with a hit. It was a two-strike swing and he just hit it hard and good things happen when you put the ball in play with something on it."
Milwaukee now heads into the Horizon League Tournament with some momentum. The Panthers, who play host to the league tournament for the first time, open things up Wednesday with an 11 a.m. contest at Kapco Park in Mequon.