Wade Steinlage, Sports Information Director
OSKALOOSA — The Statesmen (13-24, 6-16 Heart) hosted the Baker University Wildcats (16-28, 9-14 Heart) in a conference doubleheader Tuesday. William Penn headed into the matchup looking to keep their playoff aspirations alive.
The home team would settle for a split after a game one victory by the score of 1-0 and a game two loss that featured a late rally by the Statesmen only to fall short 5-4.
BU 0, WPU 1
Game one was a pitchers’ duel in which both teams only combined for 5 hits. D.J. Milam (SR/Lancaster, Calif.) started on the hill for the Statesmen and overcame some early command problems to turn in a masterful performance. The senior went 6.0 shutout innings while only surrendering 3 hits and striking out 5.
The combination of Trent Barnett (JR/Eddyville, Iowa) and Austin Neff (SR/Hanna City, Ill.) finished off the seventh with Neff picking up the save.
WPU picked up their lone run in the bottom of the fourth inning when Raheim Hampton came around the to score on an error by the Wildcats pitcher while fielding a sacrifice bunt by Fabio Espinosa (JR/Minneapolis, Minn.). Hampton began the inning with a double to right center field.
BU 5, WPU 4
Augie Voight (JR/Waukegan, Ill.) started game two for William Penn and gave his team a chance by going 5.1 innings and striking out 8. The junior right-hander was cruising through 5 innings only allowing 2 runs but ran into some trouble in the sixth after allowing a three-run home run.
Isaac Lueth (SR/Grinnell, Iowa) dazzled in his return from injury pitching a scoreless seventh and striking out 2.
The bats warmed up a bit for both sides in game two. William Penn edged Baker in hits 10-7 but a late rally fell short to give the visitors the one run victory.
Four Statesmen recorded a multi-hit game, highlighted by Espinosa’s 2-3 performance in which he drove in 3 runs.
WPU had a great day defensively recording no errors in the field. Julian Villegas (SR/Wilmington, Calif.) shined with a handful of spectacular plays at shortstop.
Next Up: William Penn will travel to Des Moines to take on rival Grand view in a four-game set starting on Saturday.