Panthers Sweep Valparaiso

Panthers Sweep Valparaiso

By Chris Kreager

After the Valparaiso Crusaders went into Milwaukee and snapped UWM’s record of 21 consecutive home wins in stunning fashion, the Panthers are now starting a new streak at ‘The Hank,’ and they did it in spectacular fashion.

A day after the Panthers’ dominance at Henry Aaron Field came to an abrupt end in a surprising 17-3 rout, they would come back to sweep the following day’s doubleheader. The two wins could not have been any more different.

In the first game, UWM prevailed 7-5 in extra innings on an 11th inning two-out walk-off homer by Tim Patzman that capped off a dramatic comeback. The Panthers had been down to their last strike before tying the game in the ninth

In the second game, the Panthers shutout the Crusader bats 3-0, courtesy of a marvelous effort by pitchers Jeff Gordon and Cameron Amsrud.

That enabled them to take two out of three games in the series, thus gaining a small measure of redemption after the lopsided streak snapper.

There were a multitude of Panther hitting heroes in the two games.
In the first game, Paul Hoenecke had three RBI’s in the opener and Dan Bucholz had two ribbies. In the second game, Cole Kraft would break a scoreless tie in the fifth inning with a run-scoring single, followed by Dekoning and Katzman delivering run-scoring hits in the seventh inning.

But it was the UWM pitchers, following a less-than-stellar performance the day before, would reassert themselves on this day. Greg Blohowiak threw four innings of scoreless ball in the opener. 

That was followed up by a combined shutout thrown by Gordon and Amsrud in the second game.

In the opener, the Panthers would allow 3 first-inning runs, but answered back with three runs of their own in the bottom of the inning.

After Valpo would regain the lead in the third inning, UWM responded again in the sixth inning on Hoenecke’s RBI single. Then, the Crusaders regained the lead yet again in the top of the seventh, a lead that they held into the ninth inning.

Down to their last strike, facing a second straight home loss after the 21-game streak, Dan Bucholz would deliver a game-tying single.
After there was no score in the 10th inning, Ben Long would deliver a single in the 11th. That set the stage for Patzman’s winning shot on the next at-bat.

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