NIU Rallies in Ninth Inning to Edge Flames, 8-7
March 18, 2014
CHICAGO – The UIC baseball team (4-10) held a 7-3 advantage against Northern Illinois (2-15-1) heading into the ninth inning on Tuesday afternoon at Granderson Stadium, but a five-run surge by the Huskies in the final frame handed UIC an 8-7 home-opening loss. The Flames scored six runs in the bottom of the eighth to take a four-run lead as junior Tyler Detmer drilled a grand slam and senior Alex Jurich belted a two-run blast. Junior Jake Nath also recorded a homer on the day with a solo shot in the sixth inning, his first as Flame.
After four scoreless innings, NIU struck first with three runs in the fifth frame. Starting UIC pitcher Joe Perricone was charged with two of those runs and finished the day with five strikeouts in 4.1 innings of work.
Nath’s solo bomb in the sixth cut the Huskies’ lead down to 3-1. The Colby College transfer was the lone Flame to record two hits and owns a total of seven in the past four games.
UIC’s eighth inning blitzkrieg began with a single by redshirt sophomore Conor Philbin, his 10th of the season and first since Feb. 28. Jurich followed Philbin with his second homer of the season to knot the score at 3-3. Later in the inning with the bases loaded, Detmer went yard over the left field wall for his first career grand slam, giving UIC a 7-3 edge with one frame to play.
The Huskies began the ninth with back-to-back singles and scored their first run off an RBI-single from Alex Klonowski. With two outs and junior closer Alex Posey on the mound, NIU’s pinch hitter Chris DiVarco was able to reach base after an error by the UIC shortstop. The Huskies scored on the potential game-ending play and now trailed the Flames, 7-5. On the next at-bat, NIU’s Landon Tenhagen notched a game-winning three-run homer to complete the rally.
The Flames return to diamond on Wednesday at Chicago State with first pitch scheduled for 3 p.m. CT.