Flames Defeat Northwestern in Home Opener, 5-2

Joey Begel
Joey Begel

March 8, 2012

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CHICAGO - Nick Addison and Joe Betcher each tallied two hits, and Joey Begelallowed just two earned runs over seven and one-third innings of work, helping the UIC baseball team record a 5-2 win over Northwestern in the Flames' home opener at Les Miller Field Thursday night.

"It’s great to be at home," said head coach Mike Dee. "I thought we executed well on offensive and played errorless defense.  It was a good day for us and we're looking forward to tomorrow."

With the win, UIC improves to 3-8 on the season, while Northwestern dropped to 3-8.

Betcher, Alex De LaRosa, Jon Ryan, Harry Kammholz and Alex Jurich all tallied single RBI's, as the Flames plated one run in the first, two in the third inning, and one each in the seventh and eighth frames. Northwestern scored one run each in the third and eighth innings, respectively.

Begel struck out three and allowed only six hits in his 7.1 innings on the mound. Relief pitchers Tim Suminski and Collin Weyercombined to pitch the final 1.2 innings, and hold off the Wildcats' comeback attempt.

Leadoff hitter Ryan Shober scored the Flames' first run, crossing home after an RBI double to left field by Betcher - Shober led off the game with a walk. The Wildcats evened the score, 1-1, in the top of the third, after Paul Snieder homered to deep right center. Begel avoided any other further trouble, striking out Jack Havey and forcing Nick Linne to line out to Cody Dykemaat second base.

Junior Nick Addisonled off the bottom of the third inning with a bunt single, then stole second base, and advanced to third on an errant Northwestern throw. De LaRosa singled two batters later, scoring Addison to put the Flames back in front, 2-1. Kammholz walked with the bases loaded four batters later, as the Flames claimed a 3-1 lead at the end of the stanza.

UIC added insurance in the bottom of the seventh, when Shober scored from third base. He was hit by a pitch to lead off the inning, followed by a sacrifice bunt by De LaRosa that advanced Shober to second. Betcher followed with a single, pushing Shober to third. He crossed home after an RBI groundout to second base by Betcher.

Northwestern made its final push in the top of the eighth, after four-straight batters reached base. Linne singled to left field with the bases loaded, but the Wildcats were limited to just one run, after Snieder was thrown out at home on a 7-5-2 putout from the Flames' defense.

Jurich helped the Flames complete the game's scoring in the ensuing bottom half of the eighth, tallying a sacrifice fly to left field that scored pinch hitter Carl Sugihara.

UIC will play the second of a scheduled three-game set against Northwestern Friday, when the Flames and Wildcats go head-to-head from Les Miller Field beginning at 5:05 p.m. CST.