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.