Baseball Edges Eastern Illinois, 16-15
April 19, 2005
Chicago, Ill. - University of Illinois at Chicago senior third baseman Bryan Russo broke a 13-all tie in the bottom of the seventh inning with a solo home run, his second blast of the evening, as the Flames staved off a late Eastern Illinois rally, picking up the 16-15 non-conference victory in a slugfest over the Panthers at Les Miller Field on Tuesday night.
For the evening, Russo went 2-for-5 with two home runs, four RBI and four runs scored. Those two home runs, tied a Les Miller Field record.
With the victory, UIC improves to 18-14-1 overall, while the Panthers fall to 9-25 on the campaign.
Sophomore reliever Zach Peterson (5-1) earned the victory for the Flames, allowing two runs and five hits in two innings pitched, while fanning two batters. Sophomore Ryan Zink earned his first save of the season, allowing one hit and striking out two, in 1.1 innings pitched.
Eastern Illinois reliever Brian Long (0-2) was tagged with the loss, allowing four runs and five hits in 4.2 innings of work.
The Panthers were equally as potent at the plate, pounding out four home runs and 24 hits off of UIC pitching. EIU left fielder Keiji Szalo led the charge with two, two-run homers, followed by both center fielder Erik Huber (5-for-6, 4 RBI, 2 runs), designated hitter Jason Cobb (solo homer) and shortstop Jon Hickey (4-for-4, 5 runs, RBI).
Following Russo's one-out, blast in the seventh, the Flames tacked on two more runs behind a RBI single from junior catcher Bryan Nolte (1-for-3, RBI, run) and a throwing error on EIU second baseman Mike Astrouski, extending UIC's advantage to 16-13.
The Panthers, however, would not go away quietly, as Hickey plated catcher Kevin Carkeek from second base on a single off of Peterson, and advanced to second base on the throw home, narrowing the Flames' lead to 16-14. Peterson fanned EIU rightfielder Mark Chagnon, bringing Huber to the plate.
Huber connected for a RBI single, scoring Hickey, cutting UIC's lead to 16-15 and forcing Peterson from the game.
UIC Head Coach Mike Dee brought in Zink, who gave up a single to third baseman Ryan Campbell, putting runners at the corners for Cobb.
Zink, however, caught Cobb looking for the final out of the frame and retired the side in the ninth to secure the win and the save.
UIC will be back in action on Wednesday night, as the Flames will host Northern Illinois for a non-conference showdown at Les Miller Field, beginning at 7:05 p.m. (CST).