Pitching, Bats Each Click in Road Sweep at WLC

Pitching, Bats Each Click in Road Sweep at WLC

MILWAUKEE – Freshman Caleb Willert tossed a complete game without allowing an earned run in game one and the MSOE baseball team pounded out 22 hits in game two to sweep Wisconsin Lutheran in a doubleheader Sunday afternoon at Newman Family Field.

The Raiders (20-16, 10-6 NACC) won the opener 7-1 and overpowered the Warriors (10-22, 7-10 NACC) 13-5 in game two to reach 20 wins for the third-straight season—a program first.

Willert (4-2) allowed just five hits and an unearned run over 9.0 innings while striking out five. He's been flat-out dominant in conference play, going 3-0 with two saves and a 0.00 ERA over 26.1 innings. He's struck out 24 and walked just four in six appearances, three starts.

Seniors Ryan Newman and Garrett Willems, and freshman Justin Bickman had three hits each to drive the offense.

MSOE scored the first seven runs of the game but led just 1-0 until the seventh inning. The team got on the board in the second inning after senior Owen Burnikel led off with a double. A sacrifice bunt moved him up to third base and senior Max Kemp scored the runner with a sacrifice fly.

Sonn hit an RBI single to open the scoring in the seventh inning as the Raiders broke open the game with a three-run frame. It was the second of three-straight base hits, which were followed by back-to-back run-scoring ground balls.

Bickman started a one-out rally in the eighth to tack on some added insurance runs. He hit the first of four-straight singles, with senior Jimmy Carrington plating a run with his base hit and Willems driving in two with his.

Willert allowed a lead-off single in the first inning and then retired the next 13 batters he faced before another single. He sent the next nine down in order before a single in the eighth inning. That runner was canceled out with a double play. WLC did break up the shutout in the ninth capitalizing on an error to bring in a run after a pair of singles.

In game two, seven different players collected at least two hits in the game. Burnikel put together a four-hit game with three RBIs while Sonn drove in four with a home run among three hits. Junior Nick Gross and Willems added three hits each.

The first three hitters of the game singled for MSOE, bringing in the game's first run. The team then tacked on six runs in the second inning. The big hit was a two-run double by Burnikel, which came amidst five-straight run-scoring plate appearances.

The Warriors pulled back single runs in the second, third, and fifth innings to pull within 7-3 heading into the later innings.

Three-straight singles brought in a run in the seventh inning for the Raiders and they added five runs in the ninth to put the game out of reach at 13-3. There were six-straight hits with two outs in the inning, including a two-run home run by Sonn.

The hosts would add a pair of runs in the ninth with a two-out rally of their own but would get no closer.

Freshman Brad Demkovich (5-1) pitched 7.0 solid innings for his fifth win of the season. He scattered eight hits and allowed just one earned run while striking out five. Sophomore Justin Celeski struck out a pair in closing out the game with 2.0 innings of work.

The Raiders kick off the final weekend of league play at Concordia Wisconsin Saturday.

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