WHITEWATER (PRESS RELEASE) – The Pointers used clutch two out hitting in the eighth and ninth innings of game two, putting 13 runs on the board, winning 15-9 and salvaged a split against the second-ranked UW-Whitewater Warhawks Monday afternoon. The Warhawks took game one 8-1.
Both teams were held scoreless in the first game of the doubleheader until UW-Whitewater was able to take a one-run lead on an RBI ground out by Mike Kenseth in the second. UW-Stevens Point was able to answer back in the third as Justin Jirschele (Clintonville) reached on an error, scoring Kevin Thomas (Oshkosh).
The Warhawks were able to reclaim the lead in the fourth, as Rob Coe plated two on a single. Whitewater added one more in the fifth, this time on a single by Jeff Donovan.
UW-Whitewater finally put the game out of reach when they scored four runs in the bottom of the eighth, capped off by Donovan's two RBI double, resulting in an 8-1 final.
Scott Williams (Baraboo) suffered his first loss of the season after allowing eight runs, five earned, while striking out six in eight innings of work. Aaron Leitner upped his record to 4-1, pitching 7.1 innings while allowing one earned run.
Eric Fritz (Custer) had two of the six hits for the Pointers.
Donovan, Coe, Kenseth and Daniel Putnam each contributed two hits for the Warhawks.
The Warhawks wasted no time putting runs on the board in the nightcap, as Ben Kuhlmann drove in two on a double, giving Whitewater a 2-0 advantage after one.
Sean Gerber (Stoughton) was able to steal one run back in the second when Jordan Rennicke (Mequon) came around to score on an error by Kenseth. Rennicke tied the game up two innings later as he scored on a wild pitch with two outs.
In the fifth, the Warhawks were able to retake the lead on an RBI ground out by Kuhlmann. Whitewater was able to add two more runs in the seventh, pushing the lead to 5-2.
The Pointers bats finally came alive in the top half of the eighth. Donovan retired the first two of the inning, but the Pointers were able put six consecutive men on base. After two singles and a walk, Sam Spurney (Manitowoc) drove home three runs with a double. Gerber added the fourth run of this inning, thanks to an error by Warhawks pitcher Ben Versnik, giving Point a 6-5 advantage.
Whitewater was able to knot the game back up in the eighth on a sacrifice fly by Nick Rechlitz.
The Pointers kept their two out magic going right into the eighth as they were able to blow the game open. Fritz doubled to lead off the inning and Jirschele reached on an error to put two on. Jeremy Richter (Rosholt) plated Fritz on a fielder's choice ground out putting the Pointers in front by one. Rennicke singled home one more run and Jared Surman (Kimberly) drew a bases-loaded walk, scoring another. Gerber pushed the fourth run of the inning on a fielder's choice ground out, leaving the Pointers with two outs once again. Dan Douglas (East Troy), Fritz, Jirschele, Richter and Brad Archambeau (Watertown) then tore off five consecutive RBI singles putting Point up 15-6 heading into the final half inning.
The second-ranked Warhawks did not go away easily however. The first three reached base safely and Kuhlmann's second double of the game plated one. Whitewater added two more runs on a ground out and a fly out, cutting Point's lead to 15-9. After two more Warhawks reached base Ryan Iverson (Eau Claire) was able to get Rechlitz to fly out to left field, ending the game.
Eric Van Beck (Hartland) went six strong innings, allowing three earned runs but did not figure in the decision. Iverson picked up his first win of the season, pitching three innings, allowing four earned runs.
Donovan started for the Warhawks, giving up six runs, five earned in 7.2 innings. Whitewater's bullpen could not get the job done in the nightcap as they allowed nine runs, all earned, in 1.1 innings of work.
Richter, Rennicke and Spurney each had three hits for the Pointers and Fritz chipped in with two of his own. Spurney also led the team with three RBIs, along with Gerber.
UW-Whitewater was led by Putnam, Donovan and Kuhlmann, each with two hits. Kuhlmann also had four RBIs.
Despite outscoring the Warhawks 33-25 in the four games, the Pointers were only able to split the regular season series. Last season, the Pointers dropped all four matchups in the regular season, being outscored 30-19.
UW-Stevens Point (22-9, 9-5 WIAC) will return to doubleheader action Saturday and Sunday afternoon as they take on the Eagles of UW- La Crosse in their final regular season home games this season. First pitch is set for Noon both days.