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LJ Waco threw 8.0 innings with a career high 14 strikeouts in the Titans' 8-3 win over UW-Stevens Point on Thursday. Photo Credit: Evan Berger, UW-Oshkosh Sports Information
LJ Waco threw 8.0 innings with a career high 14 strikeouts in the Titans' 8-3 win over UW-Stevens Point on Thursday. Photo Credit: Evan Berger, UW-Oshkosh Sports Information

Titans Take Season Series Over Pointers

OSHKOSH, Wis.- The UW-Oshkosh baseball team closed out its season series against UW-Stevens Point on Thursday (Apr. 18) with 8-3 and 7-4 wins in Oshkosh.

The Titans improved their record to 15-13 including a 9-7 conference tally with five home runs and 24 strikeouts against the Pointers (15-9, 7-5 WIAC) on Tiedemann Field at Alumni Stadium.

LJ Waco (Sr. • Cary, Ill.) threw a career high 14 strikeouts in 8.0 innings of work. He recorded two perfect innings on his way to improving his record to 5-1. He allowed three runs (one earned) on six hits and two walks.

Zach Taylor (Sr. • Long Grove, Ill.) went 4-for-8 with a pair of 2-run home runs and a solo home run, registering three runs and six RBIs. Braydon Skenandore (So. • De Pere) hit his second of the season and Jack McNamara (So. • La Grange, Ill.) hit his first career home run with a solo shot.

Waco opened the first game with four strikeouts in the first two innings and three straight in the third, keeping the Pointers off the board. Taylor recorded two of his six RBIs in the bottom of the third inning with a 2-run home run to left field. Nick Shiu (Jr. • Gurnee, Ill.) scored on the play after reaching on a double.

After Waco finished the second of his two perfect innings in the top of the fifth, McNamara made the score 3-0 with a solo home run over the right field fence. Mason Kirchberg (Jr. • DeForest) in the following at-bat, McNamara sent Brenden Max (So. • Libertyville, Ill.) and Skenandore home.

In the bottom of the seventh, Taylor hit his second home run of the day, once again scoring himself and Shiu. Oshkosh led Stevens Point 8-0 at the end of the inning.

The Pointers got on the board in the top of the eighth on a two RBI double and a sacrifice fly.

Aaron Huibregtse (Jr. • Oostburg) relieved Waco in the ninth inning. He completed his own perfect inning with three consecutive swinging strikeouts to close the door on the Pointers.

Connor Brinkman (Jr. • New London) pitched his second complete game of the season and fanned seven batters as the starting pitcher of game two. He allowed four runs on six hits and two walks and now owns a 4-2 record.

Max and McNamara singled and walked to lead off the second game. Jake Surane (Sr. • Lincolnshire, Ill.) then singled through the left side to score Max. Surane and McNamara both stole a base to put runners on second and third for Taylor, who hit a sacrifice fly to left field which allowed McNamara to add a run to Oshkosh's 2-0 edge. Surane recorded the third run of the inning when Kirchberg reached first on an error by the shortstop.

Skenandore hit a home run to left field as the leadoff batter of the second inning. Max singled in the fourth inning to score Jack McKellips (So. • Oshkosh) and Taylor hit his third home run with a solo shot to left center in the fifth. McKellips gave the Titans a 7-0 lead in the sixth with a run scored on a wild pitch.

Stevens Point scored four runs across the last three innings but could not overcome the seven run deficit.

The Titans will host Lakeland University (6-22, 1-15 NACC) on Saturday (Apr. 20) for a single nonconference game at Alumni Stadium. First pitch is scheduled for 1 p.m.

Written by Emily Buffington, UW-Oshkosh Sports Information