OSHKOSH, Wis. (SabreAthletics.com) – The Marian University baseball team picked up a big non-conference win Monday night, April 29, defeating nearby UW-Oshkosh behind a strong 6.2 innings from senior Jeff Thomas and keyed by a three-run second inning en route to the 6-4 win at E.J. Schneider Field.
Thomas allowed just four runs (3 earned) on nine hits and struck out five Titan hitters to earn the victory. Will Martin led the offensive attack with a 2-for-4 effort, including two doubles and two RBIs. Adam Ryan and Ty Gellinger also went 2-for-4 as the Sabres snapped a three-game skid. Those three came together to key the three-run second by stringing together consecutive doubles to lead off the inning.
Marian improved to 18-13 overall with the win, while UW-Oshkosh, who received votes in the lates d3baseball.com Top-25 poll, fell to 18-9.
The Titans cracked the scoreboard first with a first-inning run thanks to a one-out triple by Kamps. The DH, Swift, then grounded out to bring him home and give UWO a 1-0 lead.
In the top of the second, the Sabres responded with the trio of doubles by Gellinger, Martin and Ryan with the latter two driving in runs. T.J. McCoy also had an RBI on a fielder's choice later in the inning to give Marian a 3-1 advantage.
UW-Oshkosh would get one back in the bottom of the second before both teams traded runs in the fourth to bring the Marian lead to 4-3.
The Sabres would take advantage of a Titan defensive miscue in the fifth, adding a run with Gellinger's sacrifice fly after Chase Eagan reached on an error by the second baseman.
Leading 5-3 in the sixth, UWO cut the deficit to a run when the catcher, Hebert, singled home his second run of the game to make it 5-4.
After getting out of the inning with any further damage, Thomas came back out for the seventh and got the first two batters to strikeout and pop out before giving up a double to Swift. Austin Hansen would come on in relief to get the next batter to ground out to second to end the inning.
Marian added a much-needed insurance tally in the ninth as Martin drew a bases-loaded walk to score Tyler Oren, who led off the inning with an infield bunt single.
Leading 6-4 heading into the bottom of the ninth, Sam Memenga came into the game for the save opportunity. Things got interesting after he retired the first two batters of the inning.
The Titans staged a comeback with a single from Polcyn followed by a hit-by-pitch to put two on. Memenga would settle down and force Peterson to hit a comeback that the sophomore pitcher would field cleanly for the third out and his first career save.
Marian's win marked the first in the last 10 tries against their nearby rival and fourth overall since 1987. The Sabres have gotten steady balance of offense and pitching all year and it showed true once again tonight.
The Sabres were scheduled to take on Lawrence University in another non-conference road battle Tuesday, April 30, but that match-up has been postponed due to scattered thunderstorms in the Appleton area.
Marian will be back at it this Saturday, May 4, as they look to secure one of the final two spots in the Northern Athletics Conference tournament when it travels to Concordia University Wisconsin for a noon doubleheader start at Kapco Park in Mequon.