Flames Top IPFW 14-6; Fall to Host UALR 9-5 on Friday
Feb. 28, 2014
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – The UIC baseball team (4-5) split a pair of games on Friday as the Flames topped IPFW, 14-6, but fell to host UA-Little Rock by a final of 9-5 later in the day. Senior Alex Jurich tallied eight RBI on the day and belted his first career grand slam against the Mastodons. Jurich also paced the Flames with five hits on the day as freshman Ricardo Ramirez posted two doubles, two runs and an RBI on just three at-bats.
“We competed consistently well today,” said Head Coach Mike Dee. “Our execution on the mound needs to improve in crucial situations, but it’s really a matter of relaxing and trusting instead of ability. Trust is an area we can fix.”
UIC 14, IPFW 6
Junior Carl Sugihara sent Ramirez across the dish in the second inning on sac fly to take the 2-1 lead. The Mastodons began the bottom of the second frame with a solo homer from Kristian Gayday and went on to score three more runs to capture a 5-2 edge.
UIC struck back with two scores in the third as Jacob McNamara kicked things off be reaching base on a throwing error and then advanced to second on a balk. Junior Jake Nath joined him on base with an infield single that kept McNamara at second. On the next at-bat, freshman Brett Krause laid down a bunt-single, send Nath to third and McNamara home. Nath eventually crossed the dish after an RBI-double from Ramirez, his first collegiate RBI and two-base hit.
The 5-4 score remained deadlocked until the top the seventh when both UIC and IPFW plated one runner apiece, bringing the count to 6-5.
It was in the eighth inning that UIC took the lead for good after Jurich drilled his first-career grand slam over the left field wall, giving the Flames a 9-6 advantage. Jurich totaled five RBI in the contest, which set a new single-game record for the Minnesota native.
UIC piled up five more runs in the final inning as redshirt sophomore Conor Philbin did most of the dirty work with a 3-RBI double to center field, his second two-bagger of the season.
Freshman Mitchell Schulewitz was credited with the as he pitched the seventh and eighth innings, allowing just one earned run.
UALR 9, UIC 5
Jurich gave UIC a 2-0 lead in the top of the first inning with a 2-RBI single right-center field, scoring Detmer and McNamara.
Little Rock knotted the score at 2-2 in the third frame, but blew the game wide open in the sixth inning when they plated six runs. The Flames bullpen pegged three batters, allowed two doubles and permitted a base on balls during UALR’s six-run surge.
The Trojans tacked on one more run in the off a solo homer in the seventh frame to take a 9-2 lead.
UIC attempted a late comeback with one run in the bottom of the eighth and two more in the ninth, but it was too little too late for the Flames as UALR sealed the four-run triumph.
The Flames return to action on Saturday against SEC-member Missouri with first pitch scheduled for 6 p.m. CT. Sophomore Ian Lewandowski will take the mound opposite of right-hander Eric Anderson.