Nelson’s walk-off sparks series win with three victories
For the Gazette
STEVENS POINT – The No. 20 UW-Stevens Point baseball team (17-3, 8-2) picked up three wins on April 10 to take the series over visiting UW-La Crosse (12-9, 7-5). Payton Nelson (Wausau,) hit a walk-off home run in the 13th inning to complete
Saturday’s game two with a 15-14 UWSP win. The Pointers then got a 2-0 and a 13-3 run-rule win on Sunday to take the series.
Bradley Comer (Rhinelander) had five hits in Sunday’s full games. He drove in four runs, all in the nightcap. Aaron Simmons (Franklin) and Lucas Luedtke (River Falls) had three hits apiece. Simmons had an RBI and three runs scored. Luedtke scored a run in each game.
Matt Baumann (New Berlin) scored four runs and Logan Matson (Neillsville) had three runs scored on the day. Nelson had three RBI, including the walk-off RBI in the run-rule game two.
Saturday Game 2 – UWSP 15, UWL 14 (13)
After an offensive overload on April 9, the wind shifted and the offense halted on Sunday morning. The Pointers threatened in the 11th with Simmons drawing a walk and stealing second. But he was cut down at the plate after a throwing error to end the frame.
UWSP got two on the 12th, but both were stranded. Then with two outs in the 13th, Nelson blasted a solo home run to left to end the marathon game.
Sidney Ferry (Paw Paw, MI) got the win after tossing all four frames on Sunday. He struck out two.
Game 1 – UWSP 2, UWL 0
Offense continued to be at a premium in game one. Luedtke singled to begin the second inning, a wild pitch and a beautiful drag bunt by Jakob Boos (Littleton, CO) put runners on the corners. Matson dropped a squeeze bunt to give UWSP a 1-0 lead.
Baumann doubled with one away in the seventh. He moved to third on a wild pitch as Simmons drew a walk. A double steal plate another run as UWSP went ahead, 2-0.
That’s all the offense UWSP starter Casey Pickering (Naperville, IL) needed. He tossed his second-straight complete-game shutout. Pickering gave up just two hits and struck out four.
Game 2 – UWSP 13, UWL 3 (8)
Simmons singled and Nelson hit a double to put two in scoring position in the first for UWSP. Comer drove in a run on a groundout for a 1-0 lead.
UWL tied the game in the second on a pair of UWSP miscues in a bizarre play at third.
The game remained tied until the fourth. Luedtke led off with a single. Kyle Finger (Clintonville) was hit by a pitch and Boos reached on a UWL error to load the bases. Matson and Baumann drew walks to each push home a run. Simmons hit an RBI single and another error put UWSP ahead 5-1. Comer and Quin Henwood (Appleton) each drove in a run as the Pointers took a 7-1 lead.
Both teams scored twice in the fifth. Comer had a two-RBI single for UWSP. The Pointers tacked on three more in the seventh with Nelson and Henwood each driving in a run. In the eighth, UWSP loaded the bases and Nelson hit a sac fly to walk-off with the run-rule win.
JD Schultz (Stevens Point) went 4.2 in the start. He struck out three. Tyler Beyer (Wisconsin Rapids) went the final 3.1 with a strikeout.