Baseball Opens Home Schedule With An 8-1 Victory|
March 18, 2011
CHICAGO - The UIC baseball team returned to Chicago in fine fashion on Friday afternoon by posting an 8-1 victory over University of Wisconsin-Superior in the home opener at Les Miller Field.
Joe Betcher's three-run home run in the bottom of the seventh inning gave the Flames (4-10) some crucial insurance runs as they entered the frame clinging to just a 4-1 advantage. Alex De LaRosa walked to start the inning and advanced to second on a wild pitch. The next batter, Jon Ryan, walked, and the fourth man up in the inning, Matt Serna delivered an RBI single to score DeLa Rosa and make it 5-1 UIC. Next it was Betcher's turn and the sophomore delivered with a towering three-run blast over the left center field wall to make it, 8-1, UIC.
Betcher finished the day 3-for-3 with three RBI and two runs scored on Friday.
The Flames scored a single tally in the opening inning when leadoff man Steve McGuiggan, who was hit by a pitch to start the inning, made a heads-up play on the base paths and came around to score on Ryan's textbook bunt single down the third base line.
UIC added three more runs in the bottom of the second inning when right fielder Nick Addison belted his first career home run off UW-Superior (0-1) starter Mike Swanson. Betcher and Andy Leonard who each singled earlier in the frame scored on the play.
Starting pitcher Matt Salemi (1-2) cruised through 6.0 IP on Friday afternoon to notch his first win of the season. The right-hander allowed just one unearned run and scattered five hits while striking out four Yellowjackets. Salemi did not issue a walk in the game.
Relievers Chris Hoffman, Eric Wyman and Jason Ganek combined to throw three scoreless innings to finish the game. Ganek had the bases loaded in the top of the ninth, but the senior induced a 1-2-3 double play and struck out Robbie Veith swinging to end the game.
With the win, UIC head coach Mike Dee has 396 career victories under his belt at the helm.
The Flames and Yellowjackets will play the finale of the two-game set tomorrow afternoon at Les Miller Field at noon. Following that tilt, UIC will take on the Saint Scholastica Saints at approximately 3:30 p.m. Matt Heaslip and Joey Begel are slated to be the starting pitchers for the Flames on Saturday.