Baseball Downs Purdue in Home Opener, 9-2

Redshirt senior Alex Grunenwald
Redshirt senior Alex Grunenwald

March 8, 2013

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CHICAGO - The UIC baseball team (4-6) downed reigning Big Ten Champion Purdue (3-9) during its home opener homer at Les Miller Field on Friday night by a final score of 9-2.  The Flames totaled 13 hits on the evening, led by seniors Alex Grunenwald and Alex De LaRosa who combined for seven hits and six RBI.  Sophomore Tomas Michelson was credited with the win as he lasted seven innings, allowing seven hits and zero earned runs.  The righty also struck out a career-high six batters and recorded zero walks.

"I thought we played tonight how we've been playing for the first three weeks," said head coach Mike Dee.  "We played with great energy and great focus.  Tomas came out and gave us six scoreless innings and a lot of confidence.  We were solid at the plate tonight and we're becoming more consistent."

The Flames lit up the scoreboard first in the bottom of the second with a bases loaded walk that sent Grunenwald across home plate.  UIC added another run in the third as Grunenwald slapped an RBI-single to center field that scored De LaRosa.

The Flames opened it up in the fourth frame with three runs on three hits.  Joe Betcher began the inning with a single to right center and was driven to third off a single from John Coen.  Coen then stole second and Betcher was sent home off a sac fly by Carl Sugihara.  After Ryan Shober was walked by Purdue starter Ryan Schreiber, De LaRosa drilled a two-run double to right field, giving UIC a 5-0 edge.

The Boilermakers took two runs back in the top of the sixth inning off a two-RBI homer to left field by Stephen Talbott, chopping the Flames' lead down to 5-2.

In the bottom of the sixth, UIC's bats were popping as they posted four runs and five hits with all nine Flames' batters making an appearance at the plate.  Sugihara scored the first run compliments of a De LaRosa single through the right side.  Tyler Detmer then tapped an infield single which sent Shober home and advanced De LaRosa over to third.  That's when Grunenwald tallied the final two runs of the contest with a single to right field, scoring both base runners.

Mike McKinley and Mike Schoolcraft came in for the eighth and ninth innings, respectively, for UIC on the mound and didn't allow a single hit.

Saturday's match up will begin 30 minutes earlier than scheduled at 12:30 p.m. CT.