Mistakes doom baseball


Senior outfielder Landon Tenhagen is disappointed by an umpire’s call during the Huskies’ 3-2 loss to the UW-Milwaukee Panthers Wednesday at Ralph McKinzie Field. Tenhagen went 1-for-4 at the plate against the Panthers.

By Brian Earle

A few untimely miscues ultimately led to baseball’s demise as it lost, 3-2, at the hands of UW-Milwaukee Wednesday at Ralph McKinzie Field.

Right off the bat in the top of the first inning, pitcher Ryan Olson hit the leadoff man, Derek Peake, to put him on first base. Later in the inning, with two outs and Peake still on first base, third baseman Carl Russell committed a costly fielding error on a groundball hit by catcher Mitch Ghelfi, resulting in Peake scoring from first base and the Panthers taking an early 1-0 lead.

“That’s a run; it’s a tone-setter for the team,” said coach Ed Mathey. “It’s a lot of things. It’s free runs.”

The score remained 1-0 in favor of the Panthers until the Huskies put together three consecutive hits in the bottom of the fifth to even the score, 1-1. With one away in the inning, center fielder Jason Gasser singled to left-center and Russell followed suit with a single through the left side, moving Gasser up to second base.

With runners on first and second base, designated hitter Brian Sisler came up with an RBI single up the middle, driving in Gasser from second base and moving Russell up to second base.

The game remained tied 1-1 over the next two innings as Olson continued to shut down the Panthers at the plate after the first inning. He worked himself out of a jam in the top of the sixth inning, striking out left fielder Sam Hammer with two runners on base, and got out of the seventh inning when he fielded a ground ball back to the mound and threw out Peake at first base.

Olson pitched well enough to come away with a victory, but he didn’t factor into the final decision. He pitched seven strong innings, giving up one run, which was unearned, while scattering five hits and one walk with four strikeouts.

“I liked Ryan’s pace; I liked his composure,” Mathey said. “I liked the fact that even though maybe there was a guy on base, he didn’t get rattled. I think he did a really good job out there today. He was throwing enough strikes, throwing effective strikes, and he gave us a great chance to win a baseball game today.”

Once Olson left, the Panthers struck for two runs off pitcher Dirk Ormsby in the top of the eighth inning to take a 3-1 lead. Second baseman Mike Porcaro led the inning off with a double to left center and was driven in by first baseman Pat Wilson, who doubled down the left field line. The next batter, Ghelfi, laid down a sacrifice bunt; Ormsby tried to get lead-runner Wilson at third, but Wilson ended up being safe on the play.

Andrew Frankenreider replaced Ormsby, who didn’t record an out, and struck out right fielder Ryan Solberg. The Huskies caught a break when they picked off Wilson at third, despite Ghelfi moving up to third to take his place. That turned out to be a big play, as Frankenreider threw a wild pitch, which allowed Ghelfi to score from third base.

“[There was] a missed play on a bunt; we should make that play,” Mathey said. “The ball was bunted hard enough that if our pitcher gets onto it a little bit quicker and a better attempt at it, I think we get that lead runner … . Then, of course, Andrew Frankenreider … got the strikeout that you needed him to get, then we get the blown squeeze, we get the out there and we have a chance to get out of it, then all of a sudden there’s a mispitch and it goes to the backstop … . So we kind of shot ourselves in the foot with those things.”

The Huskies’ comeback fell short in the eighth as Sisler doubled to right-center field with one out. With two outs, first baseman Chris Divarco drove in Sisler from second on a single down the left field line.

Connor Schomig pinch ran for Divarco and stole second base. That was followed by senior second baseman Alex Klonowski drawing a walk. Brandon Mallder pinch hit for right fielder Micah McCulloch, but to no avail, as he hit into a fielder’s choice, ending the Huskies’ threat.