The Panthers defeated Chicago State 6-2 on Tuesday afternoon thanks to a good pitching performance from starter Austin Schulfer. Schulfer allowed only one unearned run in his six-innings on the mound while striking out seven Cougars. The outing from Schulfer encouraged head coach Scott Doffek.
“I thought Schulf did a nice job. He got a little more comfortable as the game went on,” said Doffek. “It was encouraging to get a couple of big hits in the first inning to give us some cushion.”
Milwaukee overcame an early 1-0 deficit by scoring three runs in the first inning to take a 3-1 lead. In the sixth, Ian Ross doubled home two Panthers and also earned praise from his head coach.
“I though Ian Ross, with that big double that he hit, really gave us some breathing room and we took care of it from there.”
In total, Milwaukee posted nine hits of Chicago State pitching, led by Ross and his 2-for-4 day at the plate. The bullpen tossed three hitless innings to close out the win, giving Schulfer his second win of the season.
Tuesday’s win for the Panthers followed up a three game series against Horizon League opponent Northern Kentucky last weekend. Milwaukee won two of the three contests and displayed excellent pitching all weekend.
In game one on Friday, Brian Keller struck out career-high 11 batters in a complete game shutout for the Panthers. After taking an early 2-0 lead in the first inning, Milwaukee let Keller take over.
“Special. No walks, three hits and struck out 11,” said Doffek. “It was really good. He was working with both sides of the plate with three or four pitches. When he gets going like that, he’s pretty darn good.” Keller collected his sixth win of the season.
The second game of the series belonged to starter Elijah Goodman. Goodman tossed eight scoreless innings and struck out 11 batters to earn his second win of the season.
“It was kind of a carbon copy of yesterday’s (Friday) game in a lot of ways. We put some pressure on them early, got that lead and by the third or fourth inning, Goody’s stuff was pretty good and it was all him the rest of the way,” Doffek said.
After two impressive overall showings on Friday and Saturday, the Panthers struggled to put much together on Sunday evening at Miller Park. Milwaukee brought the tying run to the plate in the ninth but failed to score.
“We just got beat,” said Doffek. “Their pitcher threw a good game and we didn’t do a very good job of adjusting and he exposed it. You have to give him credit, he did a really nice job.”
Milwaukee stands at 21-20 overall on the season and 9-8 in Horizon League action. The Panthers next game is Wednesday against Parkside at Henry Aaron Field in Milwaukee.