MILWAUKEE – The 2017 MSOE baseball team boasted a powerful offense last season with a .315 team batting average and 6.6 runs per game.
This season, the Raider pitchers have taken the reigns to start the season.
The unit boasts a 2.35 earned run average through 11 games in Florida and indoors in Minnesota, allowing no earned runs in four different starts. MSOE has won seven of its last eight games, thanks to a scorching run by the pitching staff. In fact, over the last nine games the team has 1.54 ERA and 1.01 WHIP.
Entering the season, senior Michael Boehmer was expected to head up the staff and he has not disappointed. He's 2-0 with a 1.69 ERA over three starts and 21.1 innings pitched. The campaign is the final one for a hurler that is closing out a stellar career. He recently became the program's all-time win leader with 16 and became the third player in team history to surpass 200 innings (205.2). The Illinois native entered the season already the all-time leader in strikeouts.
Freshman Brad Demkovich has burst onto the scene with a shutout in his first collegiate start. He's now gone the distance in each of his first two starts and allowed just one earned run for a 0.61 ERA.
Demkovich is not the only rookie pitcher throwing well, as Mason LeBreck (1-0, 2.08 ERA) and Caleb Willert (1-1, 3.12) have been early-season starters and all freshmen are combining for a 1.85 ERA over 34.0 innings of work.
Two more returners that are coming out strong to start the year are junior Sam Crawford and sophomore Justin Celeski. Crawford made a pair of starts, logging 13.0 innings with a 2.08 ERA. Celeski pitched in three games in Florida and picked up a save. He's struck out nine in 7.2 innings.
The Raiders now have a break before returning to the field March 24 at Illinois Tech. The staff is hoping it doesn't cool off in the Wisconsin weather before then.
Around MSOE Athletics…
- Men's Volleyball swept Aurora Tuesday in its lone match last week, extending its winning streak to seven-straight victories with four consecutive sweeps.
- Lacrosse posted a school-record 26-1 victory over North Central (Minn.) Wednesday and edged North Central (Ill.) 9-8 Saturday to extend its record to 4-0 on the young season.
- Austin Bellile took seventh at the NCAA Wrestling Championships to earn All-America honors at 285 pounds. It was the best-ever national finish for an MSOE wrestler.
- Jerica Kotarak was 12th in the long jump at the NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships.
- Baseball went 3-1 in four games against Hamline over the weekend at U.S. Bank Stadium, home of Super Bowl LII.
Coming Up This Week...
- Men's Volleyball (10-3, 8-1 NACC / W7) takes on a tough schedule this week with matches against #5 Kean, #13 Benedictine, and Nazareth, which has won 20-plus matches in each of the last three seasons.
- Lacrosse (4-0 / W4) starts MLC play with matches at Beloit and against Fontbonne.
- Women's Tennis (9-5 / L1) starts its spring march towards the NACC Tournament Sunday at future league foe Illinois Tech Sunday.
|Tuesday||Men's Volleyball||vs. Kean||2:00 PM||Live stats | Video|
|Wednesday||Lacrosse||@ Beloit*||7:00 PM||Video|
|Thursday||Men's Volleyball||Benedictine*||7:00 PM||Video | Live stats|
|Friday||Men's Volleyball||Nazareth||7:00 PM||Video | Live stats|
|Saturday||Lacrosse||Fontbonne*||7:00 PM||Video | Live stats|
|Sunday||Women's Tennis||@ Illinois Tech||10:00 AM|
|* Conference Contest | Home Contests in BOLD|