UW-Whitewater, Stevens Point split a doubleheader, 28 innings
MADISON (WKOW) -- UW-Whitewater and UW-Stevens Point split a doubleheader at Jim Miller Stadium at Prucha Field in Whitewater Sunday, with UW-SP winning the record-breaking game one 5-4 and Whitewater taking the late (literally) game 6-5.
In the first game of the doubleheader Whitewater, UW-Whitewater and UW-Stevens Point took their rivalry into the nineteenth (not ninth) inning before the Pointers brought the winning run in for a 5-4 final. It is believed to be the longest game in Whitewater baseball history and the longest ever for Stevens Point. Ironically, both team's longest game previously was seventeen innings, dating back to a 4-3 win over Otterbein College, March 21, 2009 in Florida for Whitewater, and back to a May 13, 2009 NCAA tournament game that Point won 5-4 over Saint Thomas.
Whitewater led off game one with a run in the top of the first. Marty Herum's RBI double accounted for the 1-0 lead.
Stevens Point came back in their half of the first with three runs. Casey Barnes brought in two with a single, and Brandon Krantz' infield single plated the third for the 3-1 Pointer lead.
David Cladis' RBI single in the top of Whitewater's second inning halved the lead, 3-2 Point.
Mike Mierow walked to start the fourth for Whitewater. He moved to second on a ground out and scored on a Pointer error to knot the score, 3-3.
Meanwhile Warhawk starter Matt Roberts shook off the first inning and went into the eighth without allowing any more runs.
In the bottom of the eighth the Point leadoff hitter singled, moved to second with another single. A hit batter loaded the bases. The Pointer runner at first ventured too far off the base, or far enough depending on your viewpoint, to draw a pickoff throw. He stayed in the rundown long enough for the runner on third to score and give UW-SP a 4-3 lead.
UW-W's David Cladis led off the ninth inning with a single. He stole second, advanced to third on a ground ball, and came home on Dylan Friend's game tying single.
And both teams settled in for the long haul. Nothing in the tenth. Nothing in the eleventh. Nothing in the twelfth. (See the pattern developing here.) Nothing in the thirteenth. Nothing in the fourteenth. Nothing in the fifteenth. Nothing in the sixteenth. Nothing in the seventeenth. Nothing in the eighteenth.
It would not have been unreasonable to think the game could end at any time, with the wind blowing out and both teams using their best pitchers in Saturday' doubleheader. Both teams used four pitchers in the game, giving up a total of 34 hits, but both bullpens got the clutch out and kept adding zeros to the scoreboard.
Whitewater went 1-2-3 in the top of the nineteenth.
Ryan Shilter led off Point's half of the nineteenth with a single. He stole second, and moved to third on a ground ball. With two outs, and men on first and third, Point's winning run came home on a wild pitch.
Herum went 4x9 to lead all batters. Schilter, Sean Gerber and Clint Rose had 3 hits a piece for UW-SP. Colin Grove, 0-1, pitched the final 2 innings to take the loss for UW-Whitewater. The 5th point pitcher picked up the win going the last 7 innings, Stroik is 3-0.
After a historic first game, anything that happened in game two of Sunday's doubleheader was anticlimactic. Whitewater led the game against UW-Stevens Point with a scoreless first inning. The Pointers answered back in the second half of the first with two runs. Casey Barnes RBI single accounted for the 2-0 lead.
UW-SP scored two more runs in the second half of the third. Gerber's RBI double accounted for the 4-0 lead over Whitewater.
UW-Whitewater came back in the top half in the fourth inning, where Jared Fon singled to lead off, then stole second base shortly after. Mikole Pierce's RBI single accounted for the Warhawks' first run of the game, score 4-1. Steve Bartlein singled, advancing Pierce to second base. JT Schneider hit a double, pushing across Bartlein and Pierce and bringing Whitewater back into the game, with the score 4-3. Shortly after, Mike Mierow singled, and on a throwing error on the same play, plating Schneider to tie the game, 4-4.
The Warhawks took the lead from the Pointers in the fifth. Michael Gonzalez was hit by a pitch to begin the inning, He then advanced to second on a wild pitch, and Dylan Friend was walked. After Marty Herum grounded out, Friend and Gonzalez both advanced bases, with Pierce at bat. Pierce was walked, and Bartlein singled with the bases loaded, bringing in two runs and giving Whitewater the lead, 6-4.
In to the bottom of the ninth inning. Barnes led off for the Pointers with a single to left field. Bobby Gregorich singled. With a man on first and second, Bryton Guckenberg loaded the bases with a single. Clint Rose then singled to pull the Pointers within one, 6-5. After a pitching change Justin Mortensen induced a Dan Douglas fly out and got Ryan Schilter to ground into a 6-4 fielder's choice, which closed the game out for the Warhawks after Point left the bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth.
Steve Bartlein and JT Schneider both led the Warhawks going 2x3 and driving in two runs apiece. Barnes, of UW-SP, countered with two RBI's of his own for the Pointers on his way to a 2x4 evening.
Plaza went eight and one third innings, giving up five earned runs on ten hits while striking out five Point batters. Plaza extended his record to 3-0. Mortensen picked up his first save of the year. Max Frederick gets the loss (1-1), going seven innings, giving up five earned runs on seven hits.
UW-Whitewater ranked eleventh in the Division III national polls, is 18-4 overall and 9-1 in the WIAC. UW-Stevens Point is 12-6 and 5-3 in league play.
The Warhawks will travel to Oshkosh April 17th to take on the Titans for a doubleheader starting at 1 pm.
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