Powered by newcomers, D1 earns four wins in Tampa

D1 started their season off on a high note, going 4-1 in Florida and getting several quality wins.

UW DI 8, Drexel DI 2

In its first time outside since October, the Badgers defeated the No. 5 ranked team in the nation. Sophomore Ryan Gassner and freshman Trey Mohr combined to allow just three hits.

Wisconsin clobbered six extra base hits, including a home run by freshman shortstop Chase Zernich. Freshman outfielder Gus Turner-Zick and sophomore outfielder Jared Eichorst each hit triples to help power the offense.

UCF DI 15, UW D1 1

The Badgers faced another top ten team in No. 8 UCF, the national runner ups a year ago, and fell in a tough game.

Zernich again shined at the plate, going 2-for-3. Freshman catcher Ryan Hubbell and sophomore center fielder Austin Grover each had doubles.

UW DI 7, Mizzou DI 6

The Badgers trailed by two in the bottom of the 7th, but rallied for three runs and a walk-off victory over the Tigers.

With one out, senior first baseman Nick Newburg singled to get the rally started. Hubbell and junior Justin Gorman followed with singles of their own to load the bases. Grover then reached on an error, scoring Newburg.

Turner-Zick knocked in Hubbell to tie the game and bring up senior second baseman Brian Mariska.

Mariska delivered a sacrifice fly to plate Gorman and give the Badgers the win. Mariska went 3-5 with a double and a home run in the game.

Freshman Nolan DeGreef threw all seven innings allowing just three earned runs and striking out six.

UW DI 16, Kent State DI 7

Wisconsin used a six-run third to power past Kent State.

Eichorst continued to rake, going 4-for-5 with a triple.

Five other Badgers had multi-hit games, including Hubbell who also drove in three runs.

UW DI 11, UCF DII 5

The Badgers were trailing 5-3 after seven innings, but plated eight runs in the eighth to defeat the Knights.

Freshman infielder Will Strauss had a big day at the plate, going 3-for-5 with a double and an RBI.

Mariska delivered the big hit in the eighth, driving a single that scored three runs, the last coming in on an error.

Next up for the Badgers after their impressive week is a three-game home series with UW-Eau Claire. They will play Friday at 7 p.m. and a doubleheader Saturday starting at noon, all at the Near West Field on campus.  

D2 Goes 4-1 in Tampa

The No. 16-ranked Badgers compiled a 4-1 record in Tampa, starting off their season on the right foot.

UW DII 17, Stetson DII 6

Sophomore Ryan Molini allowed just one earned run in four innings of work and junior Jarrett Benson didn’t give up a run in relief to help the Badgers earn their first victory of the spring.

UW scored five runs in both the third and the fifth.

Senior Andrew Wolfe smacked a double and a triple and junior Tyler Behle scored four times.

UW DII 7, Mizzou DI 6 (8)

When Mizzou scored two runs in the top of the 7th to open up a four-run lead, it looked all but over.

But with just three outs left, Wisconsin rallied for four runs, thanks to clutch hits by freshman outfielder Jackson Preschler, junior outfielder Ryan Wenzel and junior second baseman Alexis Quintero, who ripped a single into left field to plate Preschler and tie the game at 6.

Senior Drew Rust went out for his second inning of work in the top of the 8th and held the Tigers scoreless, giving the Badgers a chance to win it in the bottom of the 8th.

With Molini on second, sophomore first basemen Karson Krueger turned on a fastball that hit the chalk over the first-base line, scoring Molini and giving UW its second win of the day.

Northwestern DI 9, Wisconsin 0

The bats went quiet against the Wildcats and the Badgers were unable to push anyone across the plate, falling for the first time in the spring.

Junior Jarrett Benson allowed just one earned run in relief for Wisconsin.

Wisconsin 3, UW-Whitewater DI 1

The Badgers avenged a tough loss to the Warhawks from last year’s spring training trip, this time grinding through a 3-1 victory.

Freshman Ryan Winters was stellar in his club baseball debut, pitching six scoreless innings. Sophomore Charlie Goldring closed the win out in the seventh.

Junior shortstop Jake Gain delivered the big hit, driving in senior catcher Bobby Ehrlich and senior center fielder Chris Trafton in the first inning with a double.

Wisconsin 3, USF DII 2

In perhaps its toughest game of the trip, the No. 16 Badgers took on the No. 15 USF Bulls, a team that has already won its conference and will be playing in the Dixie regional tournament.

The Badgers got down early, as senior Alec Nelson surrendered a two-out, two-RBI single that put the Bulls up 2-0 in the first.

But that would be all USF would score for the rest of the game.

Nelson would settle in for the next two innings, quieting the Bulls bats.

Senior Andrew Wolfe then entered the game and tossed two shutout innings himself.

In the 5th, Gain drove in junior outfielder J.J. Lambl with a scorcher down the left field line to cut the USF lead in half.

The deep Wisconsin staff continued to shut down the USF bats, as senior Nick Zacharias fired two scoreless innings.

In the bottom of the sixth, freshman Tony Spence came up clutch, smacking a two-RBI double into the gap to give Wisconsin a 3-2 lead.

Junior Aaron Van Deurzen then pitched a flawless eighth before handing the ball over to Rust.

With the tying run on third and two outs, Rust got the USF three hitter to ground out to Spence, giving the Badgers a big non-conference victory.

Next up for Wisconsin is UW-Stevens Point. They will host the Dawgs at the Near West field on campus at 4 p.m. Saturday April 7th and for a doubleheader beginning at 10 a.m. on Sunday April 8th. We hope that you come out to the field for some spring baseball!

Season Preview: Veterans, New Faces Hope to Send D1 to Holly Springs

A year after falling in the semifinal game of the regional tournament, Wisconsin’s D1 team is looking for more.

The Badgers graduated five players from that team, including ace pitcher Alex Noel. But they reloaded on the hill this year, as sophomore Ryan Gassner, an all-state pitcher in high school joined the squad.

Gassner is a hard-throwing lefty who figures to play a prominent role in Wisconsin’s rotation.

Along with Gassner, Joe Fahning, who comes up to the D1 team after two years with the D2 squad, brings another powerful arm to the pitching staff. Freshman Nolan DeGreef is another newcomer for the Badgers and like Gassner and Fahning, throws hard with a nasty breaking ball. A final rookie, freshman Trey Mohr, will add much-needed depth for UW.

Wisconsin returns plenty of arms as well. Nick Newburg is back for his fourth year of service with the club and junior Colin Schrof enters his second year on the D1 squad after a strong sophomore campaign.

Senior Austin Mullins, who has proven to be a shutdown reliever in three seasons with UW, also returns, as well as senior James Oelke, a consistent strike-thrower.

Offensively, the Badgers will have just as much firepower as usual.

Ed Olson, the team’s offensive MVP in 2017, returns for his senior season and moves from the outfield to the infield — his natural position.

Also returning in the infield is senior Brian Mariska, a slick defender who consistently hits for a high average.

Junior Tyler Safgren takes over starting catching duties upon John Raff’s departure and will provide a serious power threat in the middle of the lineup.

The Badgers’ outfield will have an entire new look to it in 2018. Austin Grover, Jared Eichorst and Gus Turner-Zick will man the grass, giving the Badgers an all-Wisconsin raised outfield.

Grover, a Beloit Memorial product, will provide spectacular defense in centerfield.

Eichorst, who played his high school ball at Madison Memorial with Newburg, will join Safgren as a legitimate home-run threat every time he steps to the plate.

Freshman Turner-Zick, who attended Stevens Point high school, was an all-state outfielder last year and brings stellar defense and an excellent bat.

In addition to those rookies, freshmen Chase Zernich and Will Strauss are both talented middle infielders who will make an immediate impact for UW.

After falling just short of its goal of reaching the World Series last season, Wisconsin has reloaded and has the talent, depth and experience to make a deep postseason run in 2018.

Season Preview: Hungry D2 Squad Ready to Feast

Wisconsin came up just shy of reaching the World Series in 2017, falling in the regional championship game to eventual national runner-up Windsor University. 

This year, the Badgers are hungry for a World Series berth — and have the personnel to get there.

On the mound, senior Alec Nelson returns for his final season after throwing 24 straight scoreless innings his junior year, along with a no-hitter against UW-La Crosse. 

Fifth-year senior Andrew Wolfe is back for another campaign. The tall righty has lost just one game in his club baseball career.

Sophomore Ryan Molini, a hard-throwing righty, is expected to play a more prominent role in the rotation this year.

Senior Drew Rust, another fireballer, hopes to continue the success he’s seen in his career and figures to be the squad’s closer.  

The Badgers also hope to get quality innings from the LA boys. Freshman Ryan Winters and sophomore Charlie Goldring are two newcomers who both hail from Los Angeles and will take their first shot at battling the bitterly cold Wisconsin spring this year.

Offensively, seniors Chris Trafton and Bobby Ehrlich return and are looking to have big seasons at the plate.

2017 offensive MVP Jake Gain returns looking to build on his impressive rookie campaign.

Junior Tyler Behle is finally fully healthy after an injury-riddled 2017 and will provide a powerful bat in the middle of the lineup. Leadoff hitter and second baseman Alexis Quintero also returns for the Badgers. Junior right fielder Ryan Wenzel, who may just be the toughest out in the NCBA, comes back as well. 

Newcomer first basemen Karson Krueger brings serious power to the Badgers’ lineup and will look to make an impact right away, along with freshmen Jackson Preschler, a smooth outfielder, and Tony Spence and Cam Polce, both slick infielders.

The Badgers most valuable asset is their depth. The aforementioned names represent just the beginning of this deep and talented team, which will be a serious advantage for Wisconsin when it enters its jam-packed conference schedule.

With 19 returning players and a strong cast of new faces, the D2 squad looks poised to make a run in 2018.

Senior Spotlight: Drew Rust

Meet senior pitcher Drew Rust, a hard-throwing righty with a fiery competitive spirit. 

Position: Pitcher

Hometown: Janesville, Wisconsin

Major: Biochemistry

Nickname: Shark, Rusty Nails, Rusty Trombone, Iron Oxide

Favorite baseball team: Cardinals

Favorite baseball movie: Major League, the original because I’m a “Big Charlie Sheen Guy.”

Years of club ball service: 4

Notable stats: 0.00 ERA sophomore year

Favorite club baseball memory: Sweeping Michigan Tech in Houghton in 30 degree weather with the boys during my junior year

Favorite thing about club baseball: The people you meet

Career goals/dream job: Doctor

Where do you see yourself in five, ten years: Pitcher for the Cardinals, doctor in the offseason.

Quote: “Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, only this time more intelligently” – Henry Ford

Senior Spotlight: Eric Van Wazer

Meet senior pitcher Eric Van Wazer, a former non-travel player who worked hard to get called up to the D2 team his sophomore year.

Position: Pitcher

Hometown: Arlington Heights, Illinois

Major: Geological Engineering

Nickname: Waze Craze, Waze Train, Wild thing, Waze Experience, Waze Machine, Waze Piece

Favorite baseball team: White Sox

Favorite baseball movie: 42

Years of club ball service: 4

Favorite club baseball memory: Throwing 3 scoreless innings on the anniversary of my friend’s death junior year

Best thing about club baseball: The weekend road trips with the boys

Career goals/dream job: Ultimately I’d like to be the next Marlins Man

Where do you see yourself in five, ten years: Somewhere out west designing renewable energy systems

Quote: “No I don’t want to eat at that place. It’s so crowded nobody goes there anymore” -Yogi Berra

Tryout dates set!

Prospective club ball players:

Here are the dates for tryouts for the 2017-18 club. All tryouts take place at the new Near West Fields, located just west of the UW Natatorium.

Sunday, September 3, 1-4 PM: Rec Sports Fair. Come to our table!

Sunday, September 10, 4-7 PM: First day of tryouts.

Tuesday, September 12; Wednesday, September 13; Thursday, September 14; Friday, September 15, 4-6 PM: Tryout scrimmages. Attend one or two days.

Tuesday, September 19; Wednesday, September 20, 4-6 PM: Attend one day.

We are looking forward to seeing you out on the field!

 

D1 and D2 season recaps: Club combines for 42-10 record

Although both teams ultimately fell short of reaching the World Series, both the D1 and D2 teams had successful years, compiling a combined record of 42-10 over the fall and the spring. Both clubs won their conference and advanced to the regional playoffs in the same year for the first time since 2014.

We’d first like to acknowledge the graduating seniors that have played their last game in the Cardinal and White. D1 graduates 7 players: Outfielders Adam Mattson and Taylor Tomczak, catcher John Raff, third baseman Aaron Peterson and pitchers Alex Noel, Mike Hansen and Hunter Bailey. D2 graduates just 3 players, our beloved president and infielder Jack Zoeller, outfielder Tony DeBartolo and first basemen-turned coach Mitchell Hunger. Thank you for your contributions both on and off the field and for leading a dominant era of Badger Club Baseball. Go change the world!

D1

The D1 Badgers started off with a red-hot Florida trip, winning all five games, including beating defending Great Lakes Regional Champion Illinois.

Wisconsin then returned from the Sunshine State for conference play and dropped their first game to UW-Milwaukee. But the Badgers would respond and win their next nine conference games to clinch the Great Lakes West for the second straight year. The pitching staff was dominant through that win streak, allowing more than two runs just once. 

UW then entered the Great Lakes Regional Tournament with yet another rematch against Illinois. Wisconsin dominated from start to finish, capturing an 11-1 victory. Senior Alex Noel dazzled in his final outing as a Badger, throwing a complete game and striking out eight.

Unfortunately, Wisconsin would struggle in the next two games and D1’s season came to a close after a 7-2 loss to Illinois.

Despite the disappointing end to the season, D1 has a lot to hold their heads high about. The Badgers finished 18-4 overall and 13-2 in conference, winning the league by four games.

Junior outfielder Ed Olson was a dominant force at the plate, leading the team with a .387 average while smacking 10 doubles and scoring 23 runs.

Junior outfielder Connor Rolain was also stellar, hitting .367 with a .506 OBP. Junior second baseman Brian Mariska compiled a strong campaign, batting .348 and leading the team with 15 RBI. Junior outfielder Colten DeMorett also had 15 RBI, scored 19 runs and hit .328.

Noel led the pitching staff, going 8-0 with a 2.04 ERA. He struck out 45 batters in 44 innings pitched. Junior Nick Newburg was strong as the second starter, earning a 1.33 ERA over 27 innings. Junior Austin Mullins was a workhorse in relief, throwing 24 innings while holding opponents to a .221 batting average.

The Badgers will return an exceptionally deep and talented junior class next season and will look to make another regional appearance and advance to the World Series.

D2

After a couple disappointing seasons in which D2 fell just a few games short in the conference, Wisconsin turned it around this year, going 13-1 in District V West to capture the title by four games.

The Badgers went 3-2 in Florida, stumbling in games against Illinois (D2) and UW-Whitewater. But UW quickly made adjustments and stormed through its conference schedule, going 11-0. The run was highlighted by junior Alec Nelson’s no-hitter against UW-La Crosse.

Wisconsin entered the District V Playoff as the No. 1 seed, but suffered a tough 5-3 loss in the opening game to Northern Illinois. The Badgers bounced back on Day 2 though, first defeating South Dakota State 3-0, thanks to another dominant effort by Nelson. Wisconsin then got revenge against NIU, putting on an offensive display and sending the Huskies packing with a 14-0 victory.

The win sent the Badgers to championship Sunday, where they had to win twice against the University of Windsor. Wisconsin struggled in the first inning, allowing Windsor to take an early 4-0 lead. The Badgers battled back to make it 4-3, but could not complete the comeback, and D2’s season came to a gut-wrenching close.

Nonetheless, the team came within just two games of its first trip to the World Series in four years and lost to a very formidable opponent. Windsor would go all the way to the National Title Game, where it lost to Slippery Rock 1-0.

Nelson was unbelievable in the spring, throwing 24-straight scoreless innings, a stretch in which he allowed just four hits. After a tough outing in Florida, he settled down and did not allow a single run to cross home plate for the rest of the season. In 39⅔ innings of work, Nelson held opponents to a .140 batting average.

Sophomore shortstop Jake Gain was the team’s offensive MVP, leading the team in average (.404), OBP (.507) and home runs (2). He also drove in 14 runs. Junior center fielder Chris Trafton led the team in RBI with 21 and runs scored with 28. Overall, the team had an extremely deep lineup, compiling a .298 team average while also averaging a whopping eight runs per game.

With only three seniors graduating, Wisconsin is hoping to learn from mistakes made in the regional and bring a title back to Madison in the 2018 season.

D1 takes series over UW-Milwaukee, improves to 5-1 in conference play

The D1 Badgers suffered a tough loss in their first conference game, but bounced back to capture the next two games, giving them an impressive 5-1 conference record.

UWM 6, UW 1

The Badgers scored once in the first, but struggled the rest of the day at the plate, falling in their first conference game to UW-Milwaukee.

Sophomore Nick Williams struck out eight over five innings, but took the loss for the Badgers. Milwaukee put up two runs in the second, fifth and sixth innings to secure the victory.

UW 4, UWM 1

Junior Nick Newburg threw six stellar innings to carry the Badgers in their bounce back game. He struck out five and walked just two, while allowing zero earned runs.

UW finally broke through in the fifth with two runs. After loading the bases, Newburg was hit by a pitch and sophomore shortstop Jake Cavaiani walked to give the Badgers a lead they wouldn’t relinquish.

Junior James Oelke shut the door in the seventh.

UW 8, UWM 2

The Badgers earned a victory Sunday to capture the series over their conference foe. UW jumped out to an early lead, scoring three in the first to set the tone for the game. Junior outfielder Ed Olson delivered an RBI double on the second at-bat of the contest. The Badgers outhit Milwaukee 11-3.

Sophomore Tyler Safgren would add some insurance for UW late, driving in two runs with a two-out double in the eighth. Senior third baseman Aaron Peterson went 3-for-5 to lead UW.

Senior Alex Noel earned the win with five strong innings. Freshman Hunter Bindl was shutdown in relief, pitching four innings and allowing no runs.

 

Next up, the Badgers host Northwestern for three games at home. They play Friday at Warner Park at 7 p.m. and then play a doubleheader Saturday at Warner Park beginning at 4 p.m.

 

Nelson’s no-hitter in Game 1; seven-run comeback in Game 2 allows D2 to sweep La Crosse

The D2 Badgers started off their conference season with a bang last weekend, traveling to UW-La Crosse and sweeping the Eagles to move into first place in District V West.

UW 4, UWL 0

Alec Nelson dazzled in the opener, throwing a no-hitter to set the tone for the weekend. The tall right-hander had both of his breaking pitches working, allowing the junior to strike out seven Eagles. The closest the Eagles came to getting a base hit was the first batter of the game, when the lead off man drove a pitch to the right side. Sophomore second baseman Alexis Quintero ranged to his right, made a diving stop, got to his feet and fired to first for the out. From there, it was all Nelson, who dominated the Eagles’ hitters until senior third baseman Patrick O’Connell caught the final out.

The Badgers scored three runs in the third on RBIs from sophomore outfielder Ryan Wenzel, Quintero and junior outfielder Chris Trafton.

UW 11, UWL 10

Game 2 of the weekend was a different story for UW, as walks and defensive miscues allowed the Eagles to take a 10-3 lead in the fourth. But the Badgers refused to give up.

Down seven runs in the fifth, UW began to chip away, plating two runs to cut the deficit to five. After a one-two-three inning from freshman pitcher Bobby Pfefferle, Wisconsin used that momentum to tie the game in the sixth.

Wenzel came in to pinch hit, leading off the inning with a single up the middle to get the rally started. After an error, Quintero drove in Wenzel. With guys on second and third, junior catcher Bobby Ehrlich singled up the middle to make it 10-8 La Crosse. After two quick outs, senior outfielder Tony DeBartolo strode to the plate with the tying run on second. On the third pitch of the at-bat, DeBartolo crushed a no-doubter home run to left field to knot the game at ten.

Pfefferle escaped trouble in the sixth and seventh, before sophomore shortstop Jake Gain singled home sophomore DH Tyler Behle to give the Badgers the lead in the eighth. Pfefferle would shut the door in the bottom half to secure UW’s come-from-behind victory. The freshman was masterful in relief, going 4 and ⅔ innings and allowing zero runs to allow the Badgers to come back.

UW 7, UWL 2

The Badgers scored four runs in the top of the first, which was all UW would need to complete the sweep. DeBartolo, Gain, Behle and Pfefferle each delivered RBIs in the first.

Andrew Wolfe earned the win, striking out four over four innings of work and allowing just one run.

Behle led the way at the plate, going 2-for-3 with an RBI. Gain was the offensive MVP of the weekend, going 4-for-7 with four RBIs.

Location of Near West Field: https://tinyurl.com/y6u6yqzk