Pointers sweep home-opener doubleheader after walk-off in game t - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Pointers sweep home-opener doubleheader after walk-off in game two

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STEVENS POINT (UWSP) -

The UW-Stevens Point baseball team (7-7) needed a walk-off wild pitch to complete a doubleheader sweep of Ripon College (1-10) at University Field on Wednesday afternoon. The Pointers cruised to a 6-1 win in game one. In game two, UWSP rallied from a big hole and needed a walk-off in the bottom of the ninth for a 15-14 victory in the nightcap.

Sophomore William Iloncaie (East Troy, Wis./East Troy) led the Pointers' offense with five RBI on the day. He had three hits and scored twice in the sweep.

Senior Tyler Thomka (Muskego, Wis./Muskego) added four hits, drove in three and scored a run in each game. Kyle Mrozinski (Ashwaubenon, Wis./Ashwaubenon) had three hits in game two and drew four walks over the two games. He scored three runs and drove in two others.

Game 1 - UWSP 6, Ripon 1
After a sluggish start by both offenses, the Pointers broke through in the bottom of the third inning. Ryan Stanicek (Loves Park, Ill./Boylan Catholic) drew a one-out walk to start the rally. A base knock by Tommy Duddleston (Chicago, Ill./De La Salle Institute) put two in scoring position for Ben Gerber (Stoughton, Wis./Stoughton). He flew out to center to plate to first run of the game. Clint Rose (Watertown, Wis./Watertown) was hit by a pitch and Mrozinski walked to load the bases. Iloncaie cleared the bases with a three-RBI double for a 4-0 UWSP lead.

In the bottom of the sixth, Stanicek hit a triple with two down to push home a run. After a Duddleston walk, both runners stole to plate another.

Ripon strung together four hits in the seventh to score the Redhawks' lone run of the game.

Cole Erickson (Deerfield, Wis./Deerfield) struck out seven in seven innings for his first win of the year. He allowed just one run on nine hits and did not walk a batter. Alex Thompson (Tomah, Wis./Tomah) struck out three in two hitless innings of relief.

Game 2 - UWSP 15, Ripon 14
An inauspicious start found the Pointers down 8-0 after just a half inning of play. The Redhawks scored the eight runs with just three hits as the Pointers aided with two errors and five walks in the frame.

The comeback began with Gerber reaching on a bunt single in the bottom of the first. Back-to-back hits by Mrozinski and Iloncaie pushed home the first run. Another single by John Popham (Waupaca, Wis./Waupaca ) put a second run on the board.

In the second inning, the Pointers pecked away at the deficit. A Thomka walk followed by singles by Ben Faga (La Crosse, Wis./Central) and Duddleston sent the first run of the frame home. Later in the inning, a passed ball allowed the Pointers to pull within 8-4.

Thomka drove in a run in the third inning. His single followed a Stanicek single and stolen base.

Stanicek again was the table-setter in the sixth with a leadoff single. A Ripon error followed by a Ramirez single loaded the bases. Gerber drove in a run with a ground out to cut the deficit to 8-6.

Mrozinski began the Pointers' seventh with a triple to right-center. Iloncaie plated him with a single to pull within one. Later in the inning, a Redhawks' error allowed the tying run to cross the plate.

In the bottom of the eighth, UWSP appeared to blow the game open. Four-straight batters reached to begin the frame with Mrozinski driving in two. A Popham walk loaded the bases and Stanicek pushed home a run with another walk. Thomka drove in two with a single as UWSP plated six in the inning for a 14-8 lead.

Ripon scored six runs of its own in the top of the ninth on just two hits, both doubles, four walks and a UWSP error.

In the bottom of the ninth, Gerber drew a leadoff walk. He moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Rose and scored from second on a wild pitch for a crazy comeback win, 15-14, in game two.

Senior Heinrich Walder (Rosholt, Wis./Rosholt) was pivotal to a UWSP comeback. He tossed 5.1 innings of relief with just two hits allowed. He struck out three while keeping the Redhawks off the board from the second inning on while he was on the hill.

The Pointers head to Marian on Tuesday (April 4) for a 3:00 p.m. doubleheader. UWSP is back home to open conference play on April 8 with a 1:00 p.m. twin bill against UW-Oshkosh.

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