April 24, 2011
ROCHESTER, Mich. - Junior Jeff Gorecki earned two saves on Sunday to help the Oakland University baseball team (10-21, 4-8) win 3-2 and 6-3 over Western Illinois (12-28, 4-8) in a Summit League doubleheader at the OU Baseball Field. The Golden Grizzlies went 3-1 against the Fighting Leathernecks to win their first league series of the season.
"Winning this series was critical for our team and I am proud of how our guys responded to the challenge," said Oakland head coach John Musachio. "I am especially happy with the effort of our starting pitching this weekend and hats off to Jeff Gorecki for his effort today."
Senior Ryan Waldhart was 2-for-3 with a home run as Oakland held off Western Illinois in a 3-2 win. Senior pitcher Aaron Wick (3-5) was solid on the mound as he became the first OU pitcher to reach three wins this season.
Waldhart's solo home run in the third inning gave Oakland a 2-1 lead and OU never trailed again. The Golden Grizzlies added a pivotal insurance run in the fourth inning on an RBI-double by senior Tomy Jablonski that plated senior D.J. Jarrad. Jablonski was 2-for-3, while Jarrad finished the game 2-for-4.
With Oakland trailing by a run in the second inning, sophomore Todd Dunham drew a two-out walk to start a rally. He eventually scored on a double by Jarrad to tie the game. Oakland only scored one run in the first two innings despite leaving the bases loaded in both innings.
Wick had four strikeouts in seven innings of work and scattered five hits. The OU left-hander allowed just two earned runs, both off of solo home runs by John Koszulinki and Tom Lilja respectively. Gorecki followed suit as he allowed just one hit over two scoreless innings of work and picked up his first save of the season.
Koszulinski, Lilja and Matt Igara each went 2-for-4 to account for all of the Western Illinois hits in the game. Alexander Zarate (1-4) suffered the loss for WIU.
Oakland outhit Western Illinois 8-6. The two teams combined for only one error and no unearned runs scored.
Oakland used a pair of three-run innings to take a big lead and then held on for the win despite a late rally by Western Illinois. Wick was 2-for-3 to help the Golden Grizzlies to the win, which clinched the 3-1 series win.
Senior Dan Gliot hit the ball just beyond the reach of the outstretched WIU third baseman and legged out an infield single that scored Wick witht he games' first run. Dunham followed with a double to left center that allowed junior Aaron Cieslak and Gliot to score. It appeared that the Leathernecks might have a play at the plate on Gliot, but the WIU first baseman cut off the throw before it got to the plate.
In the fifth inning the Western Illinois first baseman failed to catch a throw from his pitcher on a sacrifice bunt attempt by Jablonski. That put two runners on base ahead of Wick, who obliged with a double down the left field line that drove both players. Gliot later drove in another run to put OU ahead 6-1.
OU took a 6-2 lead into the final inning, but Lilja singled with the bases loaded, bringing the go-ahead run to the plate. Gorecki (2) came to the mound with the bases loaded, but needed to face just one batter to get the game-ending ground out and earn his second save of the afternoon.
Oakland starter Greg Welke (2-6) had a no-hitter going through four innings and gave up just one hit. He surrendered two earned runs while still managing to strike out three batters in 5.1 innings of work.
Wick was the only player on either team to finish with more than one hit and Oakland outhit WIU 7-4. Wick, Gliot and Cieslak all finished with two RBIs each.
Oakland will wrap up a nine-game home stand on Wednesday, hosting Central Michigan at 3 p.m.