Seniors lead in rout, season sweep of Red Raiders
By Jacob Heid
STEVENS POINT – The SPASH baseball team (17-1, 9-1) played Wisconsin Rapids for the second time in three days on May 18 at Bukolt Park.
SPASH scored in every inning at the plate, including a five-run fifth inning to win 11-1. The Panthers scattered 14 hits.
Seniors Kale Roth, Jackson Fox and Benett Klish all contributed to the five runs in the fifth to end the game.
Roth led the Panther offense with four RBIs on two hits, including a home run.
Klish (two RBIs) and Fox each had three hits, while senior Devin Mrozek also got on base twice.
Coach Kraig Terpstra talked highly about the seniors on the roster.
“Our seniors have just done a good job of leading. They come to practice every day and work hard. They keep their head when things are going bad,” Terpstra said. “They’re all really good hitters.”
Rapids jumped out to an early 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning.
SPASH answered back with one run each in the home half of the first and second.
Roth joined the hitting party when he blasted a solo shot over the right field wall to take a 3-1 advantage.
The Panthers crossed the plate two more times, leading 5-1 after three innings complete.
SPASH senior Josh Opiola worked through another inning in the fourth, keeping the four-run lead.
Klish drove in the lone Panther run in the bottom of the fourth with a sacrifice fly.
A bases-loaded opportunity in the fifth inning turned into five runs.
A one-out RBI single by Fox put the Panthers up 7-1.
Roth followed by clearing the bases with a double, ending his big offensive day.
Klish finished the SPASH scoring by roping a double to end the game, 11-1.
“Obviously, at the plate, we hit the ball well tonight,” Terpstra said. “Mainly because of good approaches. Players have been pretty locked in as far as swinging at pitches, getting into counts where they can get good pitches to hit.”
Opiola went the distance on the mound for SPASH, picking up his eighth win of the year (8-0).
The senior only allowed one run on four hits, striking out four batters in his complete game performance.