The Milwaukee men’s baseball team went 2-2 this weekend in Port Charlotte, Florida. The Panthers had a record of 0-4 before this weekends trip.
Milwaukee’s first win of the season came against the University of Nebraska-Omaha Mavericks 5-4 on Friday. Cody Peterson was able to get his first ever win as a Panther. The Junior pitcher had a perfect game through the first four innings with five strikeouts. The Mavericks weren’t able to figure out Peterson until the fifth inning where they did all their scoring. Peterson gave up four runs on five hits.
“We had good pitching in both games today,” Milwaukee head coach Scott Doffek said. “Cody gave us a real good start. He just ran into a situation where they were able to get multiple hits in a row in the fifth inning. He was cruising; he actually had a perfect game going there, but he just left a couple balls up and they found some holes and strung some hits and put up those four runs.”
The Panthers were able to answer right back, scoring five runs in the bottom half of the inning including a three-run homer by senior Pat Wilson.
Sophomore Jake Tuttle was able to close the game from there on as he pitched four innings while giving up zero runs on two hits along with a strikeout.
“Tuttle came in with a one-run lead in the sixth and really pounded the bottom half of the strike zone and worked ahead in the count. When he does that, the results are going to be good. That was a really good victory for us,” Doffek said.
The Panthers had a tough game ahead for them as they faced Ball State and the Mid-American Conference pitcher of the year, Scott Baker in their second game of the doubleheader that Friday-. Sophomore Brian Keller was on the bump for the Panthers.
Ball State was able to get on the board first when Sean Kennedy was able to score from second on a single by Caleb Stayton that scooted by the infield, giving the Cardinals a 1-0 lead in the second inning.
Right fielder Derek Peake was able to tie the game up on a double scoring Tyler Hermann in the bottom half of the third. That was all the Panthers could mustard out of Baker as he only gave up three more hits the rest of the game.
The Cardinals were able to get two more runs on solo home-runs hit by Stayton and Brandon Estep. Baker gave up just four hits and one run in eight innings pitched.
After splitting the first two games of the weekend the Panthers (1-5) were back on Saturday to take on the Kansas Jayhawks (6-0).
Milwaukee outhit the Jayhawks 12-7 and led twice throughout the game but were unable to hold on as they lost 9-8.
“I thought the most important thing of the day way – it got a little chippy between the two teams and I really felt like that was the first time since Sept. 1 that our guys came together as a team,” Milwaukee head coach Scott Doffek said. “They battled and took it personal. I think if they do that on a daily basis, we’ve got an opportunity to beat anybody. That’s an undefeated team and that’s their Friday night starter. We did a good job there.”
Derek Peake, Same Koenig, Ryan Solberg, and Tell Taylor lead the Panthers on offense collecting two hits each.
The Panthers had an 8-6 lead going into the eighth inning but Kansas was able to pull ahead with back to back doubles by Ka’iana Eldredge and Blair Beck giving the Jayhawks the 9-8 lead and eventual win.
The Panthers (2-5) ended their weekend against St. Bonaventure (0-2) with a huge win 14-3. Sam Koenig was able to lead the way for the Panthers with a perfect 4-4 day including two doubles, two singles, and a pair of RBI’s.
The 14 runs scored were a season high for the Panthers thus far.
Milwaukee was down 2-1 until the fourth. Then the bats came alive. The Panthers were able to bat around in the fourth to make it 5-2 Milwaukee.
Milwaukee scored 11 unanswered runs and was able to close out the weekend with two wins to their name. Gunnar Eastman was the winning pitcher for the Panthers giving up eight hits and two earned runs in five innings pitched.
“With this group, it was a perfect day. It was exactly what we needed. We got a lot of people involved and now we just hope for a safe trip home,” said Doffek.
Milwaukee looks to pull closer to a .500 record when they play Kansas State in a three game set. The first game is scheduled for Friday February 28 at 3 p.m. in Manhattan, Kansas.