The University of Wisconsin-Platteville welcomed Illinois Institute of Technology to the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference a year earlier than scheduled for the Scarlett Hawks, but the Pioneers were not the most gracious of hosts. UW-Platteville won all four games from IIT, who will be joining the WIAC as an affiliate member in baseball effective with the 2017-18 academic year.
The Pioneers walked off with a 6-5 12-inning win Saturday then won the second game 3-2 in a seven-inning affair. On Sunday, the hosts won 14-10 behind a cycle from Josh Moses and 10-5.
The Pioneers are now 15-4 on the year, while the Scarlett Hawks are 2-17.
Kyle Reinhart started the weekend off right for the Pioneers, hitting a game-ending home run in the 12th inning. It was the second straight walkoff HR for UW-Platteville, as James Pavlik provided the big blast in a 4-3 win over Marian Wednesday. Coach Eric Frese's crew overcame a 5-2 lead to force extra innings. The Pioneers took advantage of a wild pitch and a passed ball in a three-run sixth. Marty Mitch brought in the tying run with a groundout to second. Riley Vandenberg threw the final five innings, giving up just one hit, to earn the victory.
In Saturday's nightcap, Taylor Christopher drove in all three Pioneers, which was just enough Tyler Vogel, who took a one-hit shutout into the sevent inning. IIT's Matt Witkowski hit a two-run double in the seventh, narrowing the score to 3-2, but Cal Krafcheck came in to induce a flyout to left to earn the save.
In Sunday's first game, the Pioneers spotted IIT an early 2-0 lead but erupted for eight runs in the third and fourth innings. Reinhart and Moses had RBI hits in both innings, and Scott Barness drilled a two-run double. Moses and Reinhart both cracked two-run HRs in the later innings to pad the lead for the Pioneers. IIT rallied for four runs in the ninth, but it was not enough to drop its third straight game of the series.
Moses hit for the cycle in the contest, with singles in the first and third, a double in the fourth, a home run in the sixth and the triple in the eighth. It is believed to be the first cycle in Pioneer baseball history, at least the first recorded cycle.
The Pioneers completed the four-game sweep with a 12-hit attack in the 10-5 victory. Moses and Colin DeBoer each had three hits, including triples, and 2 RBIs. Johnny Frese had two hits, Barness and Pavlik each scored twice, and Connor Crotty drove home two runs. Four different pitchers took the mound during the game, with Lucas Keller earning the victory.
UW-Platteville will put its 10-game winning streak on the line in the WIAC opener at UW-Stout in a four-game series Saturday and Sunday.
By Paul Erickson, Director, UW-Platteville Communications, 608.342.1194, firstname.lastname@example.org