Valparaiso Slips Past UIC in Series Opener, 4-3
March 21, 2014
CHICAGO – The UIC baseball team (4-12, 0-4) suffered a heartbreaking defeat against Horizon League-foe Valparaiso (9-7, 1-0) on Friday night at Granderson Stadium as the Crusaders edged the Flames by a final of 4-3. Junior transfer Jeff Boehm tied the score at 3-3 in the seventh frame after he belted a solo homer over the wall in left-centerfield, his first long ball with the Flames. Valpo plated the game-winner in the top of the ninth inning with two outs after UIC’s centerfielder dropped a routine fly ball that allowed VU’s Spencer Mahoney to cross the dish.
Starting UIC pitcher Tomas Michelson performed well for eight innings, ending the night with one earned run, six hits and five strikeouts. Valpo’s Cole Webb was credited with the win as he also lasted eight innings, giving three earned runs and a mere four hits. Flames’ freshman Mitchell Schulewitz was given the loss tonight since he pitched the final frame for UIC. Crusader Karch Kowalczyk picked up his fifth save of the season as he recorded the final three outs.
Valpo struck first in the second inning off an RBI-single from Jake Hanson and plated another lone run in the third to take an early 2-0 lead.
UIC recorded its first score in the bottom of the third frame as junior Jake Nath drilled his second triple of the season on the Flames’ first at-bat. Nath was eventually able to cross home plate after freshman Cody Bohanek tallied an RBI-groundout.
The Crusaders scored again in the fifth inning to go in front 3-1, but the damage was minimal after UIC faced bases loaded and no outs. The Flames kept pace and began the bottom half of the fifth with back-to-back singles from senior Alex Jurich and Boehm. Jurich was sent home on a sac fly from redshirt junior Alex Lee to cut Valpo’s led down to 3-2. Jurich and Boehm tallied two hits apiece tonight to pace UIC at the plate.
After Boehm sent a screamer of the left-centerfield wall, the Flames seemed to have momentum, entering the final two frames. Valpo went three-up three-down in the eighth inning, while UIC managed a lone walk, two fly outs and a groundout.
UIC’s Schulewitz retired the first two VU batters in the top of the ninth frame and then walked the eventual game-winning runner Mahoney.
The series will continue and conclude on Saturday with a doubleheader scheduled to begin at 10:30 a.m. CT.