MEQUON, Wis. – On April 12 the Concordia University Wisconsin Baseball team was swept by Rockford University and sat with an overall record of 6-14, 2-8 in the Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference. At the time the Falcons were near the bottom of the conference standings and a spot in the NACC Tournament seemed unlikely.
The next day CUW began its impressive turnaround, rallying off 12 straight wins, the first 10 of those coming on its home turf at Kapco Park. That winning streak was snapped Tuesday night at Carthage College in non-conference action, but has the Falcons at 18-15 overall and 10-8 in league play, having clinched a spot in the NACC Tournament.
Let's take a look at some of the numbers that helped the CUW Baseball Team string together win after win.
Any time a baseball team puts together consecutive wins, pitching plays a big part. This streak was no exception as the Falcons staff turned in quality start after quality start. Several pitchers played a big role in the CUW streak, with eight different playings taking to the mound.
1.32 – The Falcons staff posted a 1.32 ERA during the streak, allowing three runs or less in 10 of the 12 games. Freshman Dylan Gausman (Eagan, Minn.) who was 2-0 during the winning streak, did not allow an earned run in 13.2 innings. Seven of the eight Falcons who toed the mound posted ERAs of 2.60 or better.
3 – CUW posted three shutouts since April 12, two of those coming in a sweep of the University of Chicago. Junior Michael Winter (Cedarburg, Wis.) had the most impressive outing during the stretch, throwing a complete-game one hitter in a 5-0 win over Chicago.
4 – Sophomore Tyler Gross (Wauwatosa, Wis.) picked up a third of the Falcons wins on the mound over the 12 games. Gross went 4-0 with a 0.56 ERA in 16 innings. He allowed just one earned run and struck out five.
24 – Throwing strikes is the first key to quality pitching and the Falcons staff did that over the past 12 contests. CUW walked just 24 batters in 109 innings. The Falcons also recorded 55 strikeouts and opponents hit just .210 against them.
.406 – The leadoff batter has one major role in baseball; to get on base. The Falcons did an exceptional job of leading off innings, batting .406 in those situations. Sophomore Luke Scheuerlein (Thiensville, Wis.) batted .625 (10-for-16) when leading off an inning.
.360 – The Falcons also did a good job of cashing in on run-scoring opportunities, batting .360 with runners in scoring position. CUW had nine situations with the bases loaded and collected six hits in those chances.
.676 – Perhaps the most impressive stat of the Falcons winning streak was the team's batting average with runners on third and less than two outs. CUW hit .676 (25-for-37) during the stretch. The duo of junior Brandon Seifert (Germantown, Wis.) and sophomore Jacob Boudreaux (Wauwatosa, Wis.) combined for a perfect 7-for-7 in those situations.
8 – Senior Beau Burgert (Oshkosh, Wis.) roped eight doubles over the past 12 games. He paced CUW with a .415 batting average and added a home run against MSOE. Seifert and junior Joel Sharon (Glendale, Wis.) each drove in a team-best 11 runs with Seifert scoring a team-high 12.
Winning streaks like the one the Falcons just put together are rare in baseball, any sport for that matter. Quality pitching, timely hitting and solid team defense (.961 fielding percentage) all have to come together. For the Falcons, several players stepped up during the last stretch of games to help ensure they would be playing in the NACC Tournament come May 8-10.