UW-Oshkosh baseball makes postseason for first time in a decade
OSHKOSH (WLUK) -- The University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh baseball team is one of the most decorated programs in Division III history with two World Series titles and three runner-up finishes.
But they haven't made it to the World Series since 2003 and this is their first trip to regionals in ten years.
"Pretty special. I took over this place five years ago and it was kind of in shambles a little bit,". head coach Kevin Tomasiewicz said.
"I promised that first recruiting class by the time you guys get out of here, we got to get this thing back on track. I think everybody here in Oshkosh and in the Valley, wants Oshkosh baseball to be back."
The reason for the Titans success this season is two-fold and quite simple.
Their pitching staff ranks 19th nationally in ERA and they have seven starters hitting over .300.
"When the hitters don't hit, the pitchers seem to come out. When the pitchers aren't there, we just put up a lot of runs and support them," Titans junior outfielder Alex Koch said.
The Titans face a tough task in their opener against a Bethel pitching staff that leads the country with a 1.80 ERA, the lowest in Division 3 in seven years.
"We just take it as another game," Koch said.
"We don't look into their pitching staff too much. We're going to go out and play them like any other team and hopefully get the job done."
Oshkosh has even more incentive to make it to the World Series this season: this is the 19th and final year Fox Cities Stadium is hosting the D3 World Series for the forseeablee future.
"We've been waiting four years for this opportunity. We've put a lot of effort into this. We've got to get to Appleton, so put the gas to floor," Titans senior catcher Taylor Grimm said.
"My mantra is 21.8," Tomasiewicz said.
"21.8 is the distance between this field and Appleton's field. I brought that up to those guys four years ago and we got a little sticker on our door inside there with our field and Appleton's field. So I've been preaching that to them for four years and we're really close to going that 21.8 miles."
That journey begins this Thursday against Bethel in Duluth, Minnesota.