Baseball Rallies For 3-1 Victory Over Cleveland State
May 1, 2004
Chicago, Ill. - For a majority of Saturday's game, UIC's bats were as cold as the frigid, rainy weather surrounding Les Miller Field.
But when it mattered most, the Flames' bats came alive in the bottom of the sixth inning for three runs and three hits, led by a two-run triple from senior Mike Hughes, as UIC picked up the 3-1 Horizon League victory over Cleveland State.
For the game, UIC connected for only four hits against Cleveland State starter Gary Ball (2-4). Ball allowed four hits and struck out three batters in six innings of work.
With the victory, UIC improves to 26-13 overall and 8-2 in Horizon League play, while the Vikings fall to 10-22 on the campaign and 7-6 in conference play. The second game of the doubleheader was postponed due to inclement weather.
Hughes took Ball's first pitch off of the left-center field wall, clearing the bases and pushing the Flames' ahead 2-1. Hughes later scored an insurance run on a Ball wild pitch, giving UIC the 3-1 advantage.
UIC freshman right-hander Ryan Zink tossed a complete-game, five-hitter while striking out 11 batters to improve his record to 6-3 on the season.
Cleveland State got on the board first in the top of the third inning as second baseman Brian Lombardi drew a two-out walk from Zink, advanced to third on a Corey Rojeck double and scored on a wild pitch, giving the Vikings the 1-0 lead.
The Vikings threatened in the top of the fifth inning as they had a runner on third base with one out. Zink, however, quickly squashed it as he fanned Ryan Dukovich and Lombardi to end the frame.
Ball held the Flames hitless over the first four innings, before junior Bryan Russo connected for a single to lead off the fifth.
The series will wrap up on Sunday afternoon with a doubleheader slated for 12:00 p.m. on Sunday afternoon. The first game will be seven innings, while the second contest will be nine innings.