Long, Porcaro Shine In Horizon League Tournament Opener
May 24, 2013
NILES, Ohio - Senior Jake Long was at it again, allowing just one run in a complete-game effort as the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee baseball team opened play in the 2013 Horizon League Tournament with a 6-1 victory over Wright State University Friday at Eastwood Field.
After being honored pregame for the specialty awards they claimed earlier this week, Long and sophomore Michael Porcaro helped lead the Panthers (29-19) to a win over the Raiders (23-29), their eighth-straight victory overall.
Long (8-3), the Horizon League Pitcher of the Year, tossed a gem. He was perfect through three innings in recording his fifth complete game of the season. Long allowed just five hits and one run, tying his career-high with eight strikeouts while not walking a batter.
"I know our guys were antsy to play after sitting around all day yesterday and then Jake came out and just gave us a great start and we played great defense behind him," UWM head coach Scott Doffek said.
Porcaro, the Horizon League Player of the Year, got Milwaukee on the board with a sacrifice fly in the first inning and came through with a two-run single in a big second-inning rally.
"If you look at that inning, we had a bunch of quality at bats, but more than that, we really put some pressure on their defense on the basepaths," Doffek said. "If you can do that, it's hard to defend. We are excited to get that one under our belts and are excited to come back out tomorrow and put it all together again."
That offensive outburst gave UWM control and Long did the rest. The Panther sent 10 batters to the plate, scoring five runs on the strength of five hits. Following a pair of walks, senior Alex Erdmann dropped a single over the shortstop's head to drive in a pair and get things going. Sophomore Luke Meeteer followed with a solid single up the middle to make it 4-0.
Porcaro then tacked on two more when his single went off the glove of the drawn-in, diving third baseman and into left field.
Porcaro finished 2-for-3 with three runs batted in. Sophomore Derek Peake (2-for-4, 2 runs, 2 stolen bases), Meeteer (2 hits, run scored, RBI, two steals) and junior Ryan Solberg (2-for-3, run) all came through with big days at the plate.
With the tournament schedule adjusted due to the weather Thursday, the Panthers are done for the day and will not play again until Saturday. They will take on Valparaiso University in the first game of the day, set to start at 10 a.m. CST at Eastwood Field.