D2’s hot bats give them 3-2 record in Florida

The D2 Badgers had a strong opening week in Tampa, going 3-2 and producing 49 runs over those five games. Wisconsin heads into its first conference series of the Spring confident at the plate after tearing the cover off the ball in the Sunshine State.

Wisconsin 14, Stetson 4

The Badgers scored eight runs in their first inning outside since Halloween weekend, taking a big early lead they wouldn’t relinquish. Sophomore shortstop Jake Gain went 2-for-4 and ended the game in the 5th with a two-run, inside the park home run into the right-center gap. Sophomore first baseman Joe Fahning added three RBIs. Senior Andrew Wolfe got the win, allowing just two hits and no runs over three innings of work.

Illinois 16, Wisconsin 9

UW again jumped out to an early lead, scoring eight runs in the bottom of the second. The Badgers had nine hits in the inning, including six straight knocks with two outs to keep the runs coming.

But the lead wouldn’t last long, as Illinois fought back for seven runs in the third and then went ahead with two runs in the fourth. They would add six more in the top of the seventh to put the game on ice.

Sophomore designated hitter Tyler Behle led the way offensively, going 3-for-4 with three RBIs and a double and a triple. Both sophomore second baseman Alexis Quintero and junior catcher Bobby Ehrlich added multi-hit games.

Wisconsin 6, Miami (OH) 4

After taking a 4-1 lead into the fifth, Miami battled back to tie the game at four. But Wisconsin responded right away, thanks to a two-RBI single from sophomore outfielder Ryan Wenzel. Freshman Jarrett Benson and Ryan Molini shut the door in the sixth and the seventh to preserve the victory.

Fahning carried UW at the plate, smacking two triples. Gain stayed hot, going 2-for-4 with a double.

Wisconsin 13, UW-Milwaukee 5

The Badgers fell behind 3-2 in the third, but stepped on the gas pedal after that inning to vanquish UW-Milwaukee. Wolfe delivered the decisive blow, crushing a bases-clearing triple into the left-center gap that put UW up 8-3. Junior center fielder Christopher Trafton went 2-for-4 and Fahning had yet another big day, going 2-for-4 himself.

UW-Whitewater 8, Wisconsin 7

In its final game in Florida, Wisconsin suffered a heartbreaker, dropping a tight game to Whitewater in the final inning. Whitewater took an early 6-0 lead, putting the Badgers into a deep hole. But UW began to claw its way back in the fourth, scoring three runs to cut the deficit to three. Sophomore outfielder J.J. Lamb delivered a two-out RBI single and Quintero followed that up with a two-out, two-RBI single of his own.

The Badgers would tie it up in the fifth thanks to RBIs from senior outfielder Tony DeBartolo, freshman outfielder Bobby Pfefferle and Lamb. In the sixth, the Badgers took the lead after Ehrlich drew a two-out, bases-loaded walk.

But Whitewater would come back to score twice in the seventh to take an 8-7 lead and UW would fall short, despite erasing a six-run deficit.

The Badgers take on UW-La Crosse this weekend in La Crosse in the hopes of improving their conference record from their strong start in the Fall.

D1 goes 5-0 in Spring Training

The Badgers started off their spring season red hot, winning all five games in Plant City, including a big win over Illinois, the team that knocked them out in the Regional Final last year. With a mix of fresh faces and proven veterans, Wisconsin looks poised to make a deep run this season.

Wisconsin 5, Illinois 1

The Badgers scored in the second, third and fourth innings to take an early lead they wouldn’t relinquish. Senior catcher John Raff came up big at the plate, going 2-for-3 with an RBI and a run scored. Senior Alexander Noel earned the win, throwing five innings and surrendering just one earned run.

Wisconsin 13, Miami (OH) 3

UW kept it rolling in the second game, scoring seven runs in the third inning to dispense of the Redhawks. Senior third baseman Aaron Peterson went 2-for-3 with two RBIs and two runs scored. He ended the game early with a walk-off single in the sixth. Sophomore Nick Williams threw five innings and struck out four to earn the win.

Wisconsin 8, South Florida 4

In their second game of the day, the Badgers entered the fifth tied at four, but promptly loaded the bases. Junior center fielder Connor Rolain drew a walk to bring in Raff and senior outfielder Taylor Tomczak delivered a sac fly to give UW a lead it wouldn’t give up. After battling a wrist injury in the offseason, junior Nick Newburg struck out six batters in just 2 and ⅓ innings of work in his 2017 pitching debut.

Wisconsin 2, Kansas 1

Thursday, UW played their most tightly contested game, escaping with a one-run victory over the Jayhawks. The Badgers scored twice in the first, which is all they would end up needing, despite putting up zeros the rest of the way. UW scored both runs on RBI walks. Kansas cut the lead to one in the fourth, but couldn’t complete the comeback. Sophomore Colin Schrof was strong on the mound, allowing just two hits over three innings.

Wisconsin 14, UW-Milwaukee 4

UW ended its Spring Training trip with a blowout of conference foe UW-Milwaukee, thanks to six different Badgers with multi-hit games. Junior outfielder Ed Olson went 3-for-4 with two triples and Newburg drove in four runs. Sophomore shortstop Jake Cavaiani went 2-for-3 with three RBIs.

The D1 Badgers now take on UW-Milwaukee again for a three-game set this weekend, looking to keep the bats hot.