Late Surge Puts Panthers In League Championship Game
May 28, 2005
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. - Every starter had a hit and scored a run as the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee baseball team rebounded from an early 5-0 deficit to defeat Youngstown State, 12-10, Saturday afternoon at the Horizon League Tournament in Indianapolis.
With the win, the Panthers move on to face UIC in the league championship game at 3 p.m. If UWM tops the Flames, the two teams would meet again on Sunday at noon due to the tournament being double elimination.
Facing a 5-0 deficit heading into the fifth inning, Milwaukee rallied for seven runs to take the lead at 7-5. Junior Mike Goetz started the rally with a lead off single and walks to senior Brooks Graff and junior Zak Rivera loaded the bases for junior Joe Nowicki. Nowicki doubled in two runs and was followed by an RBI ground out from sophomore Nick Wichser. The Panthers finished the inning with two RBI doubles and two more run-scoring triples to take the lead for good.
Youngstown State put together a ninth inning rally, pulling within two at 12-10 in its final at bat. After a walk and single, Erich Diedrich hit a three-run home run to right field with just one out in YSU's final at bat. Dolske induced a ground ball to third and after a walk, sophomore Rob Brockel entered the game and got the final batter to pop out to third for the save.
UWM pushed its lead to 9-5 with two more runs in the sixth on a two-run home run by Wichser. After allowing a pair of runs in the bottom of the sixth, the Panthers regained a four-run advantage with two runs in the seventh and went ahead 12-7 with another in the eighth. Graff grounded out to third with runners at the corners to score a run in the seventh and Rivera followed with an RBI single up the middle. The next inning, Graff laced a bases-loaded single to left to score another run.
Justin Banks, Dustin Thomas and Charles Schultz each doubled in runs in Youngstown State's five-run third inning. Mike Turjanica capped the scoring in the inning with an RBI single and hit a two-run home run to pull the Penguins within 9-7 in the sixth.
Sophomore Mike Rauwerdink (2-5) got the start and threw five innings for his second win in six days against YSU. He scattered nine hits, struck out four and walked two for the decision, allowing seven runs. Dolske allowed three runs in 3.2 innings of relief, before Brockel got the final out for his second save.
Milwaukee's offense pounded out 18 hits on the day, led by Goetz (2 R, RBI), who had hits in each of his last four at bats. Nowicki (2 R, 2 RBI) and freshman Jesse Hart (2 R, RBI) each collected three hits, while Graff (R, 2 RBI) and freshman Grant Berkovitz (Run scored) had two hits apiece.
The Panthers are playing in the Horizon League Championship game for the fifth time, but will have to defeat the Flames twice for their first league crown since 2002. UWM has won championships in 2002, 2001 and 1999 after falling in the title contest to Butler, 6-2, in 1998.