Baseball Falls Short Against Cleveland State, 5-4
May 3, 2002
Euclid, Ohio - UIC's Wes Gilliam (South Holland, Ill./Thornwood) and Cleveland State's David Boyza went toe-to-toe with each other in Friday's Horizon League contest as the starters combined for a total of thirteen allowed hits and 20 strikeouts.
Boyza, however, had the benefit of five unearned runs to help the Vikings to the 5-4 victory at Euclid Memorial Field #1 on Friday afternoon.
Boyza struck out nine Flames' batters and allowed six hits in 7 1/3 innings of work to improve his record to 3-6 on the 2002 campaign.
Gilliam struck out a season-high 11 batters and allowed seven hits in seven innings of work, only to lose his first game of the season and drop to 5-1 overall.
With the victory, Cleveland State improves to 12-26 overall and 6-7 in the Horizon League, while the Flames fall to 28-11 and 8-3 in league play.
UIC took a 3-0 lead heading into the bottom of the fifth inning as the Vikings loaded the bases with two outs in the inning, when Cleveland State shortstop Ben Smith stepped to the plate.
Smith roped a groundball to third baseman Nelson Gord (Buffalo Grove, Ill./Buffalo Grove) that seemingly would end the inning. The ball, however, ricocheted off Gord's chest, allowing catcher Doug Besozzi to score and keep the inning alive.
Gilliam issued a bases-loaded walk to leftfielder Jeff Katlen to cut UIC's advantage to 3-2. The Vikings then took a 4-3 lead as first baseman Dominic Erney connected for a two-run single. Cleveland State then added a crucial insurance run as right fielder Brian Beaumier drove in Katlen with a RBI single to put the Vikings ahead, 5-3.
UIC cut the lead to 5-4 in the sixth inning when sophomore Mike Hughes (Hoffman Estates, Ill./Fremd) scored from second base on an error by Cleveland State second baseman Pat Smith.
The Flames had a chance to tie the game up in the ninth inning as sophomore shortstop Mike Bruszer (Deerfield, Ill./Deerfield) opened with a single to centerfield.
Bruszer advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by sophomore second baseman Mark Homco (Galesburg, Ill./Galesburg) and moved over to third on a flyout by junior center fielder Curtis Granderson (Lynwood, Ill./T.F. South).
Cleveland State reliever Eric Zizelmann, however, retired designated hitter Mike Lorenzo (Lockport, Ill./Providence) to end the contest and pick up his fifth save of the season.
UIC got on the board first in the top of the fourth inning as sophomore left fielder Chris Kerpan (Waukegan, Ill./Waukegan) launched a two-run homer, his first of the season, to put UIC ahead 2-0.
Junior catcher Kevin Nelson (Arlington Heights, Ill./Rolling Meadows) followed suit with a solo shot of his own, his fifth of the season, to extend the Flames' lead to 3-0.
Both teams will be back in action on Saturday, May 4th for a Horizon League doubleheader at 12:00 PM (CST).