Late Innings Doom Baseball In 9-4 Loss At Alabama
Feb. 26, 2010
TUSCALOOSA, Ala.- Alabama scored eight runs in the seventh and eighth innings to break a 1-1 tie, and the UIC baseball team's valiant ninth-inning rally ran out of gas in a 9-4 loss to the Crimson Tide at Sewell-Thomas Stadium on Friday night.
Steve McGuiggan went 3-for-5 with two RBI for the Flames (1-4).
The Flames drew first blood in the top of the fifth, when Ganek led off with a double and advanced to third when a sacrifice bunt attempt by Ryan Boss was misplayed by pitcher Adam Morgan to put runners at the corners for McGuiggan.
McGuiggan then laid down a perfect squeeze bunt that traveled down the first base line, winning the race to the bag for a single that gave Ganek enough time to trot home.
Starter Chris Kovacevich tossed five shutout innings until Alabama (3-0) evened the game in the bottom of the sixth. An infield single and a balk put Ross Wilson in scoring position, and after a one-out wild pitch allowed him to motor to third, a sacrifice fly off the bat of Jake Smith tied the game at 1-1.
The Crimson Tide went ahead in the next half-inning. Alabama put runners at the corners with one out when Taylor Dugas singled up the middle for drive in the go-ahead run. After Matt Salemi came on in relief of Kovacevich with runners once again at first and third, Josh Rutledge lofted a fly ball to center that plated another run on a sacrifice.
Dugas stole second and advanced to third on Salemi's throwing error, and Wilson delivered a single to left that brought Dugas home.
The bottom of the eighth proved disastrous, as Alabama scored five runs with two outs. Young left-hander Tim Suminski recorded the first two outs quickly but issued walks to three of the next four batters, all of whom reached base to get a run in.
Rutledge then smashed Suminski's 1-0 offering over the left field wall for a grand slam.
The Flames would not quit. UIC's first three batters reached base safely, a stretch capped by the 2010 debut of All-League catcher Nathan Orf. Orf doubled with two on to drive in Ryan Meehan from second, and two batters later pinch hitter Ty Rubio lifted a sac fly to right that plated Matt Serna from third.
McGuiggan struck again with another RBI hit before Adam Windsor induced a game-ending flyout.
UIC returns to Sewell-Thomas Stadium this Saturday, Feb. 27 to face the Crimson Tide in a doubleheader that begins at 12:05 p.m.
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