Grunenwald's Two Homers Lead UIC Past Santa Clara, 5-3

Freshman Ian Lewandowski earns his first collegiate save on Friday at Santa Clara.
Freshman Ian Lewandowski earns his first collegiate save on Friday at Santa Clara.

Feb. 22, 2013

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SANTA CLARA, Calif. – The UIC baseball team (2-2) defeated Santa Clara (2-3) by a final score of 5-3 on Friday night at the Schott Stadium.  Senior Alex Grunenwald belted two home runs, tallied three RBI and two runs, while sophomore hurler Tomas Michelson picked up his second win of the season.  Michelson lasted 5.2 innings and allowed just two earned runs and seven hits, striking out four Bronco batters.

“I thought we competed really well tonight,” said head coach Mike Dee.  “It was a hard fought game and we kept our composure and kept battling the entire night.”

The Flames lit up the scoreboard first in the top of the second inning with three runs as redshirt senior Harry Kammholz kicked things off with a single up the middle.  Grunenwald then jacked one of his two homers, giving UIC an early 2-0 lead.  After a pop out and a ground out, junior John Coen slapped a single up the middle and advanced to second on a passed ball.  Coen was eventually sent home off a single from redshirt senior Alex De LaRosa, putting the Flames up 3-0.

The Broncos answered with a run of their own in the bottom of the second, but the UIC quickly regrouped and tacked on another run in the top of the fourth with a solo shot by Grunenwald.

With the Flames in front, 4-1, Santa Clara ripped off two straight scores in the fifth and sixth frames, to cut UIC’s lead down to 4-3.

After two scoreless frames, UIC added the insurance run in the top of the ninth inning with Betcher starting things off with single up the middle.  Betcher then advanced to second on a passed ball and was sent to third off a single by junior Alex Jurich.  Coen pushed Betcher across the plate with sacrifice fly to right field for the final run of the night.

Freshman pitcher Ian Lewandowski came in for Michelson in the sixth inning and earned the save by retiring 10-of-11 batters and notching three strikeouts.

Junior Ryan Boss was the other Flame to record two hits with a double and a triple. 

The Flames return to action on Saturday with a doubleheader beginning at 3 p.m. CT.