Baseball Splits Two Against Wright State
May 2, 2009
CHICAGO- The UIC baseball team split a doubleheader against Wright State on a gorgeous 64-degree day at Les Miller Field on Saturday afternoon.
The Flames rallied from six runs down to beat the Raiders in the opener, 11-9, before Wright State took the nightcap by a final of 13-0.
UIC is now 20-20 overall and 13-5 in Horizon League games after taking two of three from the Raiders over the weekend, while Wright State moved to 23-24 and 10-9 in league play.
Game One: UIC 11, Wright State 9
Chris Rutta hit a go-ahead three-run homer during a five-run fifth as UIC rallied from an early six-run deficit to take Saturday's first game against Wright State, 11-9.
The Raiders roughed up starter Chris Kovacevich for six runs in the first inning, but the Flames stayed patient and rattled off 10 runs in the middle three frames of the contest.
Reliever Matt Salemi earned the win with 5.1 outstanding innings out of the bullpen, coming on in the first after Wright State chased Kovacevich after just one out and allowing just one run during his outing.
UIC trailed 7-1 in the fourth when Tony Altavilla homered with two on and two out to cut the deficit to three.
Brett Schaefer hit an RBI single in the fifth, and Jason Ganek took a four-pitch walk immediately after to put runners on first and second for Rutta. Rylan Ostrosky's second offering to the junior outfielder was belted deep over the left center fence for a no-doubt three-run blast that put the Flames up 8-7.
Steve McGuiggan added another run later in that inning on an RBI double.
The Flames struck again in the sixth on an RBI double hit by Schaefer and Ganek's sacrifice fly.
Wright State scored a run in the eighth and brought the tying run to the plate twice against closer Derrick Miramontes, but Miramontes struck out Kory Twede and Jake Hibberd to end the game.
Game Two: Wright State 13, UIC 0
Wright State scored six two-out runs in the top of the fourth, and the Flames' bats went cold against Raider starter Alex Kaminsky in a 13-0 loss in the nightcap.
Starter Mike Kool retired the first eight batters he faced in order but ran into trouble in the fateful fourth. After sitting down two of the first three hitters of the frame, Kool gave up a single and a walk to load the bases for Hibberd, who laced a base hit up the middle to drive in a pair.
Tristan Moore hit an RBI single right after Hibberd's two-run knock, and catcher Garrett Gray stepped up and launched a three-run homer over the wall in right.
A dropped fly ball by Rutta in right and a double by Mercer preceded Quentin Cate's two-run single that chased Kool in the fifth.
While the Flames rallied from a big deficit in Saturday's first game, they were unable to muster anything offensively against Kaminsky and three other Raider pitchers in the evening encounter.
Kaminsky struck out six and allowed just four hits, with two of those belonging to Rutta, against a UIC squad that had averaged 11 runs a game in its previous five contests.
The defeat snapped UIC's four-game winning streak and an 11-game home winning streak for the Flames.
UIC begins the final week of its 2009 home slate on Monday, May 4 against Purdue North Central at 7:35 p.m.