UWS Roundup: Yellowjacket baseball team still aliveSoftball team wraps up season; track team runs well at St. Mary's Invitational
The University of Wisconsin-Superior baseball team is still alive for the final spot in the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference playoffs despite going 0-4 against UW-La Crosse this past weekend.
The Yellowjackets are 17-18 overall and 8-12 in the WIAC heading into the final weekend of the regular season. They are also two games behind UW-Oshkosh (14-21, 10-14), who has completed league play.
What it boils down to is UWS needs to win three of four games against UW-Whitewater (22-13, 12-8) to clinched the fourth and final playoff berth. Two wins would leave UWS tied with UWO, but the Titans would win the tie-breaker (record against teams ahead of them in the WIAC).
“Anything is possible, we just have to play better ball than we did last weekend,” UWS coach Eddie Morgan said. “When you play good teams, you can’t give them any free runs, and we’re going to have to play good defense this weekend. Whitewater is always a very good team and they’re coming off two big wins over Stevens Point on Monday.”
The Yellowjackets and Warhawks will play doubleheaders at 1 p.m. Friday at Wade Stadium and noon Saturday at Ted Whereatt Field.
UWS put itself in position of needing three wins this weekend by losing to UWLC 6-1 and 6-5 on Saturday and 8-1 and 10-4 on Sunday.
The Yellowjackets’ best chance to win last weekend was game two on Saturday.
Trailing 4-2, TJ Evenson hit a three-run home run to give UWS a 5-4 lead in the sixth inning.
The ’Jacket defense gave the game back to the Eagles with errors leading to unearned runs in the eighth and ninth innings.
UWS committed four errors in the game.
Mike Swanson suffered the tough-luck loss despite pitching his second complete game of the week. The senior allowed six runs (two earned) on seven hits. He walked two and struck out six.
Wyatt Soderquist led UWS at the plate, going 3-for-4 with a double and triple.
Eagle pitcher Tim Verthein, who is likely to get picked in this summer’s MLB draft, dominated the Yellowjackets in Saturday’s opener, tossing a three-hitter and striking out 13. Dan Genrich took the loss, giving up six runs on eight hits over six innings. He walked four and struck out two.
In Sunday’s opener, Eagles pitcher Kevin Johnson held the Yellowjackets to four hits, but one was a second inning home run from Evenson.
Ethan Branum took the loss, pitching seven innings, allowing nine hits and six runs (four earned), walking one and striking out two.
The Yellowjackets produced more offense in the second game, but three pitchers yielded 10 runs to the Eagles. Superior’s Rob Veith and Tony Remund were 2-for-4 and 3-for-4, respectively, with an RBI each.
’JACKET JOTTINGS: Several Yellowjackets rank among the WIAC stat leaders. Soderquist is first in triples and seventh in batting; Ethan Branum is fifth in ERA; Evanson leads in home runs, is second in RBIs and leads in total bases; Jeff Millers is fourth in RBIs; and Robbie Veith is fourth in stolen bases.
Whitewater’s wins over Stevens Point on Monday allowed UWLC to capture the 2012 WIAC baseball championship.
The league title for the Eagles is the 13th (first since 2000). UWLC also earned the top seed for the WIAC tournament and will host the four-team, double-elimination event that begins on May 11. The tournament winner receives the conference’s automatic bid into the NCAA Division III Championship.
UWS completed its season on Sunday with a doubleheader split against UW-Oshkosh at Liebaert Field, losing 7-5 and winning 4-2.
In the opener, the Titans scored two runs in the top of the eighth inning off UWS pitcher Lindsay Garay to claim the WIAC victory. Garay pitched the entire game, allowing 15 hits and seven runs while striking out one. She did not issue a walk.
Garay, Ashlee Olson and Kayla Blom all had two hits for the Yellowjackets, while Kristen Haider’s bases-loaded triple drove in three runs. Elle Niemala drove in the other two runs.
The Yellowjackets rebounded in the second game as Amanda LeBard pitched a complete game four-hitter, gave up two runs and three walks while fanning five.
Chelsey Jarzin was 2-for-3 with two runs scored, and Blom had two RBIs.
The Yellowjackets, who did not qualify for the WIAC tournament, completed their season with a 12-20 overall record, 5-11 in league play. Oshkosh is 22-18, 7-9.
UWS began the weekend with losses of 3-2 and 9-1 to UW-Whitewater.
In the opener, the Warhawks broke a 2-2 stalemate with the game-winning run in the eighth inning.
LeBard pitched the entire game for the Yellowjackets, allowing three runs (two earned) on eight hits while walking one and striking out six. Taylor VanDamme had two hits for UWS.
LeBard pitched the first four innings of the second game, allowing five runs on nine hits while walking one batter.
Garay threw the final inning, allowing four runs (two earned) on three hits while walking a batter.
Olson led the Yellowjackets with two hits.
Whitewater improved to 29-7 overall and 12-2 in the WIAC.
The UWS men’s and women’s track and field teams competed in the St. Mary’s University Open in Winona, Minn., their final meet before the conference championships next weekend.
Despite the cold, wind and rain, however, the Yellowjackets continued their practice of posting personal records and top-10 finishes.
Matt Reijo of Oulu had the only victory for UWS, bringing home first place in the 400-meter hurdles with a time of 55.94 seconds. The victory was the fourth of the outdoor season for Reijo, who has placed in the top three in all seven outdoor events in 2012.
Elsewhere, Joe Driscoll placed fifth in the 100 and 400 and Cam Tiberg came in fourth in the 1,500 with a personal record time of 4:13.69.
The 4-x-100-meter-relay team (Kevin Gripentrog, Kevin Danielson, Kevin Olson, Sorensen) placed fourth with a time of 44.76 seconds.
In the field events Shane Trentor had a strong day, finishing fourth in the triple jump and eighth in the long jump.
Nils Hansen placed eighth in the hammer throw with a toss of 48.84 meters while Tony Willette placed ninth in the shot put (42-2) and Michael Merlo (Gordon) ended up sixth in the javelin (120-0).
In total the men’s team had four athletes set personal records to go along with Reijo’s win.
On the women’s side, thrower Victoria Vinokur continued her sensational freshman campaign with a trio of top 10 placements. Vinokur placed fifth in the discus (133-11) and hammer (151-9) and seventh in the shot put (40-1.25). The latter two were both personal records.
Katie Capriglione brought home a fourth place finish in the hammer (156-2). It was the only top 10 of the day for Capriglione, who placed 11th in the shot put and 14th in the discus.
On the track Kelsey Johnson set a personal record in the 400 with a time of 1:03.01, which was good for a seventh place finish. Freshman Brianna Marble set a personal record in the 5000-meter run, finishing sixth with a time of 21:34.48.
Jennifer Kromrey placed 10th in the 100-meter hurdles with a time of 16.77 seconds. Not to be outdone, former Superior Spartan Jenna Martin was 10th in the 400-meter hurdles, crossing the line with a time of 1:12.20.
The women’s 4-x-400-meter-relay team (Sydney Thompson, Lauren Nielsen, Darian Bushey, Ashley Martin) enjoyed a fourth place finish in 54.03 seconds.
In total, the Yellowjackets had five athletes set personal records on the weekend.
The Yellowjackets will now compete in the WIAC Outdoor Track and Field Championships Friday and Saturday at UW-Whitewater.