The Milwaukee Panthers put up strong offensive numbers against a struggling Oakland team to win their third game in a row. Starting pitcher Austin Schulfer went seven strong innings and tied a school record by striking out 13 batters to seal the 10-3 win for the Panthers.
Milwaukee was excited to take on Oakland for the third time in as many days at Miller Park in front of a good sized crowd. The Panthers have played at Miller Park every year since 2002, going 16-10 in their home away from home.
Schulfer came out of the gates throwing heat, striking out two batters in the first inning. The Panthers struck first in the second inning after a triple by third baseman Ben Chally put him in scoring position to start off the frame. John Boidanis then hit a sacrifice fly deep to center to score Chally.
Oakland put up two runs on Schulfer in the third inning however, after an RBI triple. An infield hit then put the Grizzlies up 2-1. The Panthers wouldn’t look back after the third however, as a five run fifth inning proved how effective the Panthers bats can be when they are hot.
An RBI double by Chris Kelly, and a 2-RBI double by Trevor Schwecke put the Panthers on top 4-2. Oakland then coughed up two defensive mishaps, including a passed ball and throwing error, putting the Panthers in scoring position. Two RBI singles by Boidanis and Ian Ross capped off the six hit inning for the Panthers, who would remain on top for the rest of the game.
In the sixth inning, UWM tacked on four more runs, started off by a big 2-RBI double by Ben Chally. Boidanis hit another double to left, scoring one, while Mike Jordahl hit a liner to center to score the final run of the game for the Panthers, putting them up 10-3.
Austin Schulfer ended up with seven strong innings of work and tying a school-record 13 strikeouts. He allowed only three runs, giving up seven hits, and only two walks. He commanded the ball well throughout his performance, getting ahead in the count early and often, and using his speed to work both corners of the plate.
“My mentality through the game was to just attack the hitters as much as possible,” said Schulfer. “I knew if I attacked the hitters and stayed within’ myself that the guys behind me and my catcher Daulton would be there.”
Leading the Panthers offensively was center fielder Chris Kelly. Kelly went 3-5, while getting a big RBI double in the fifth.
“I was just trying to attack right away, relax in the box and get a good pitch to hit early in the count,” Kelly said.
UWM fans had the opportunity to enjoy a free game at Miller Park, while also having the opportunity to sit wherever they chose.
The players also thoroughly enjoyed the experience to play at a big league ballpark.
“Playing at Miller Park is just such a unique experience year after year. For us guys that are seniors, it’s just something we will always remember, especially after getting the win,” said Chris Kelly.
Austin Schulfer also had fun playing at such a well known ballpark. “Just knowing that you’re playing on the same field as some of the best players in the world, and some of baseballs future Hall of Famers is a great feeling,” said Schulfer.