Baseball Earns First Win Of Season Against Saint Louis, 13-10, In Extra Innings
March 11, 2005
St. Louis, Mo. - It was a game of give and take between the University of Illinois at Chicago and Saint Louis baseball squads on Friday afternoon.
In a game that featured seven lead changes and three ties, the Flames, led by a bases-clearing double by senior second baseman Bryan Russo in the top of the 11th, took the 13-10 non-conference victory over the host Billikens in extra innings at the Billiken Sports Center for UIC's first win of the season.
"When you're looking for your first win and you have the bases loaded late in the game, you're looking for the big hit," UIC Head Coach Mike Dee said. "It was a great at bat and really helped us relax a bit."
With the victory, UIC improves to 1-8 on the season, while the Billikens drop to 2-8 overall.
UIC sophomore outfielder Larry Gempp Jr., started the 11th inning with a one-out double and moved to third base on a single by senior outfielder Mike Bruszer (3-for-6, 2 runs, RBI). Freshman first baseman Mark Hallberg drew a walk from Saint Louis reliever Mark Zielinski to load the bases for Russo (3-for-6, 3 RBI, 3 runs).
Russo promptly put the game to rest with a three-run double to left field and moved to third base on the throw home, giving UIC the 12-9 lead. Sophomore third baseman Nick Rainwater added an insurance run for the Flames, plating Russo with a bunt single, extending their advantage to 13-9.
Zielinski (0-1) took the loss for the Billikens, allowing four runs and four hits in one inning of work. UIC sophomore Zach Peterson (1-0) was outstanding on the mound for the Flames, earning the victory, allowing two runs, one earned, and four hits in 5.1 innings of relief, while striking out two batters.
"Zach pitched very well," Dee said. "He kept the ball down and in play in some brutally cold weather with 25-30 mile per hour winds.
"He really hung in there great."
UIC junior outfielder Bart Babineaux connected for his first homer of the season with a two-run shot in the top of the fifth inning.
Saint Louis first baseman Drew Eder led the Billikens offensively, going 3-for-5 with a RBI, while teammates Matt Gerst (1-for-4, HR, 2 RBI) and Casey Moore (2-for-6, 3 runs) turned in solid efforts.
"I'm proud of the way we hung in there today," Dee said. "Now it's important to come back and do it again tomorrow."
Both teams will be back in action on Saturday afternoon, with the first pitch scheduled for 1:00 p.m.