UW-Eau Claire baseball loses two doubleheaders

Blugolds lose pair of games to UW-Platteville and UW-Stout, start season 0-6

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The Blugolds lost a pair of doubleheaders last week to UW-Platteville and UW-Stout.

The UW-Eau Claire baseball team, competing in its first season since the 1994-95 season, will not be “packing it in” after starting their season 0-6, said Charles Bolden, the team’s head coach.

After losing their opening two games against UW-La Crosse, the Blugolds failed again to secure their first win last week, dropping two games to UW-Platteville on Thursday, March 25 at home, and losing two more to UW-Stout on Saturday, March 27 in River Falls, WI.

Doubleheader vs. UW-Platteville

The Blugolds lost both games against UW-Platteville in the home opener for UW-Eau Claire on Thursday afternoon, losing game one 7-2 and game two 11-3.

Bolden said he was happy with how the Blugolds played in the field defensively in these two games, but they needed to be more aggressive at the plate against the fastball.

Wes Brand, a first-year pitcher, started game one for the Blugolds, surrendering seven runs and eight hits in five innings.

Brenton Boldt, a first-year pitcher, threw four shutout innings in relief in game one.

The Blugolds fell behind 7-1 in the fifth inning of this game and were unable to rally, only managing an RBI single by Will Jilek, a fourth-year infielder, his second RBI hit of the game.

The Blugolds stranded runners on base in both the eighth and ninth inning, and lost game one 7-2.

In game two, the Blugolds scored a run in the first inning after surrendering two, as Logan Matson, a third-year infielder, was hit by a pitch and eventually stole home on a double steal to make the game 2-1.

UW-Platteville went on to score seven runs in the third inning, gaining a 9-1 lead. The Blugolds failed again to mount a comeback, losing game two 11-3.

Charley Griffin, a second-year pitcher, got the start in game two for the Blugolds, surrendering nine runs on nine hits in three innings pitched.

Bolden said the pitchers needed to limit walks after these games, but he saw improvement in game two from game one.

Doubleheader vs. UW-Stout

The Blugolds lost both games against UW-Stout on Saturday at First National Bank of River Falls Field, in the first college baseball games played there since 2002.

Nate Witte, a first-year outfielder and catcher, kicked off game one with a leadoff triple, eventually scoring off a sacrifice bunt by Matson.

UW-Stout claimed the lead in the bottom half of the first inning, scoring two runs, and would add another run in the seventh to gain a 3-1 lead.

The Blugolds threatened to score in the ninth inning, as Otto Triechel, a second-year infielder, doubled with one out. The Blugolds were unable to knock in another run, losing game one 3-1.

Will Mosinki, a first-year pitcher, started this game for the Blugolds and gave up two runs in five innings pitched with seven strikeouts.

Bolden said this first game could have gone either way, but the Blugolds could have been more aggressive offensively earlier in the game.

“We fought and hung in there the whole time,” Bolden said.

In game two, UW-Stout took the lead early with a two-run second inning, which the Blugolds answered with one run in the second.

UW-Stout went on to score again in the second and fourth innings before unleashing five runs in the fifth inning and another four in the sixth, going up 13-3 to win the game in seven innings.

Tom Ginther, a fourth-year pitcher, started game two for the Blugolds, surrendering four earned runs and eight runs total in four and one third innings pitched. Ginther did manage to strike out seven batters in this game.

Bolden said the pitchers did okay throwing strikes but wanted to see improvement from the team defensively after this game.

Jilek said it was encouraging for the team to have some competitive games, especially the first game against Stout, but the offense needs to come through at the plate.

“For our first year as a program, we definitely have some kinks we need to work out,” Jilek said. 

Bolden said despite the program being new, he has expectations for the team to still compete.

“I don’t make any excuses for where we are,” Bolden said. “I expect a lot out of these guys. I expect us to remain competitive.”

Jilek said the team has come together and bonded especially since the games started, as they have only known each other since the fall. He said there is a learning curve with getting accustomed to their new coaches and their system.

“Everyone has a drive right now to help commit to that first season here,” Jiled said. “We want to help Coach build that legacy that he’s trying to go for and put a good mark out there for UWEC baseball.”

The Blugolds return to action on Wednesday, March 31 with a doubleheader on the road against UW-Oshkosh.

Janssen can be reached at [email protected]