Baseball's Comeback Falls Short in 5-4 Loss at Milwaukee

Senior Joe Betcher
Senior Joe Betcher

April 28, 2013

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MILWAUKEE, Wis. – The UIC baseball team (19-21, 8-10 HL) began to rally in the ninth inning with two runs against first-place Milwaukee (18-16, 11-4 HL) on Sunday afternoon, but came up one shy as the Flames dropped the series finale 5-4.  UIC had opportunities to score as they left 12 runners stranded, including two in the final frame.

“Today was tough to swallow,” said head coach Mike Dee.  “We are having trouble doing things consistently well enough to win right now.  It will be our goal to improve on them by the league tournament.”

Milwaukee took an early led with two runs in the first inning and one in second to hold a 3-0 advantage.  After the first two frames, UIC starting pitcher Joey Begel settled in and gave up just one hit over the next 3.1 innings.

The Flames found a pair of runs in the fourth inning as redshirt junior Ryan Boss was walked to begin the surge.  Boss was moved over to second as redshirt senior Alex Grunenwald reached base on a fielding error by the UWM third baseman.  Redshirt senior Alex De LaRosa advanced both runners up one bag with a sac bunt and then senior Joe Betcher sent Boss across the dish with an infield single.  Grunenwald eventually crossed home as junior John Coen safely reached first on another fielding error by UWM.

With UIC facing a slim 3-2 deficit, Milwaukee scored two runs in the sixth frame to extend their lead to 5-2.

Coen was the first Flame to score in the ninth for UIC as he reached base on a lead-off walk and was plated on a bases loaded hit-by-pitch.  With the bases still juiced, Grunenwald drove in junior Carl Sugihara off a ground out to short to pull UIC to within one.  The rally was cut short when Betcher fouled out and Boss was thrown out on the play to end the game.

The Flames will return to action on Tuesday as they host Rockford College set for 7:05 p.m. CT.