Baseball Breaks Out Brooms Against Wright State
April 17, 2011
CHICAGO - The UIC Baseball team won with two different styles on Sunday afternoon, breaking out for 15 runs in the opener and winning a one-run thriller in the nightcap over the Wright State Raiders at Les Miller Field.
In game one, the Flames (16-15, 6-5 Horizon League) erupted for five runs in the fourth inning and seven more in the seventh to easily get past the Raiders (20-12, 5-3 Horizon League). In game two, UIC built a five-run cushion heading into the sixth the inning, but eventually surrendered the advantage and mounted a thrilling comeback to complete the series sweep.
The first game of the day got off to a ominous start when the Raiders plated a run in the top of the first inning, however late-announced starter Joey Begel (2-2) settled down and worked hard to earn his second win of the season.
Trailing 1-0, the Flames countered with two runs of their own in the bottom of the frame. Ryan Shober led off the inning with a double and Nick Addison walked; both runners advanced 90 feet on a sacrifice bunt by designated hitter Alex De LaRosa. Two batters later, first baseman Matt Serna delivered a two-out RBI single that scored Shober and an errant throw by shortstop Justin Kopale allowed Addison to scamper home as well.
UIC added one in the third, but the fourth inning was the first of two crooked numbers posted on the scoreboard. Josh Nevers and Addison each delivered two-run base hits in the inning which saw the home team send 11 batters to the dish and emerge with an 8-2 lead.
After going down quietly in the sixth, the Flames went back to work in the bottom of the seventh against the Raiders bullpen. This time, UIC sent 12 men to the plate and it was Addison and Jason Ganek who each stepped up with two-run hits, a double to left and a single up the middle respectively. When the dust settled, the Flames held their biggest lead of the game at 15-3. Wright State would add one more in the eighth, but that was it.
The 15 runs scored in game one marks a season-high for Mike Dee's team and the highest output since notching 20 runs in game two of a doubleheader against Cleveland State on May 16th of last season.
Addison finished game one with three hits and a career-high five RBI. Nevers also posted career-highs in both categories with three hits and three RBI of his own.
The 12-run lead was plenty for Begel who worked 7.0 innings, allowing only four runs. The sophomore gave up 12 hits, but the defense behind him was solid all afternoon as it turned three key double plays in the fifth, seventh and eighth innings.
Collin Weyer worked the final two innings in game one. The Milwaukee, Wis. native tossed two scoreless frames in his eighth appearance this season.
In the nightcap, UIC scored in each of the first three innings, but game two would not be as seemingly easy as the first.
In the first inning, Addison laid down a perfect bunt single down the third base line and advanced to third on De LaRosa's base hit. Ganek singled to score Addison and advance De LaRosa to third, but the senior was thrown out trying to take second. Serna stepped up and delivered a two-out single, the first of four in the game for the Arlington Heights, Ill. native, which scored De LaRosa and gave UIC a 2-0 lead.
The Flames added single runs in the second and third innings and a fifth run on Ganek's team-high sixth home run of the season, an opposite-field shot to start the inning.
The Raiders awoke from their offensive slumber in the top of the sixth, scoring four runs to slice the deficit to one. Tristan Moore, Corey Davis and Ryan Ashe delivered RBI hits off starter Matt Heaslip, who did not factor in the decision after allowing four runs over 5.1 IP.
In the seventh, Wright State struck again, this time for three runs off reliever Eric Wyman to take a 7-5 lead.
With a two run lead and nine more outs to go, the Raiders turned to closer Michael Schum (5-2) in the bottom of the seventh. The sidearm-style hurler was not up to the challenge late Sunday afternoon. Ganek singled to start the inning and Serna followed with a perfectly executed hit-and-run chopper over the first baseman's head to kick-start the rally. Andy Leonard delivered an RBI single up the middle to make it 7-6 and freshman Jon Ryan had an RBI groundout to shortstop to tie the game at 7. Then, with Leonard on third and Jacob McNamara at the plate Schum balked, allowing Leonard to score what would prove to be the winning run.
Chris Hoffman (4-1) worked 1.2 scoreless innings to earn his fourth win of the season. Tim Suminski recorded a huge out with the tying run on third in the top of the eighth. Suminski threw just one pitch, but he got Dan Marsh to pop his bunt attempt up foul behind the plate to McNamara. Charlie Weinberg came in to work the ninth. The sophomore also had the tying run at third base, but induced a line drive right at Shober off the bat of Ashe to earn his first career save, end the ballgame and complete the sweep.
Serna and Addison both notched four hits in game two for UIC.
The Flames will conclude the nine-game home stand on Wednesday night when the Purdue Boilermakers visit Les Miller Field at 7:05 p.m.