Baseball Sweeps Cleveland State, 6-4 and 6-1
May 3, 2003
Chicago, Ill. - The University of Illinois at Chicago baseball team withstood a four-run rally by Cleveland State in the top of the seventh inning to hold on to the 6-4 Horizon League victory over the Vikings in the opening game of their doubleheader at Les Miller Field on Saturday afternoon.
In the nightcap, sophomore Ryan Gehring (6-3) earned the complete-game victory, allowing seven hits, while striking out four batters to help lead the Flames to the 6-1 victory and the doubleheader sweep over the Vikings.
With the sweep, UIC improves to 30-13 overall and 12-3 in Horizon League action, extending their winning streak to 12 and their home-winning streak to 26 games. Cleveland State drops to 7-30 on the campaign and 1-13 in league play.
Junior right fielder Mike Hughes led UIC offensively in Game One, going 3-for-3 with two RBI and two runs scored, including a two-run homer. Senior designated hitter Chuck Peters also turned in an impressive performance for the Flames at the plate in the opener, going 2-for-3 including his team-leading 10th homer of the season to lead off the bottom of the fifth inning.
Freshman Ryan Martin (5-0) remained flawless in the opener, as the Missoula, Mont., native improved to 5-0 on the season, allowing two runs and six hits in 6.1 innings of work, while striking out four batters. Sophomore lefthander David Haehnel tossed the final two-thirds of the seventh inning to earn his Horizon League leading eighth save of the season.
UIC took a 6-0 lead into the top of the seventh inning as Cleveland State first baseman Dominic Erney (single) and left fielder Kolin Kelly (double) each reached base to open the inning. Vikings' third baseman Steven Chinn plated pinch runner Keith McCleod to cut the Flames' lead to 6-1.
Cleveland State pinch hitter Rick Shimko roped a single off of Martin to put runners at first and third with one out for Vikings second baseman Mario Angelo. Angelo hit a groundball to UIC shortstop Jordan DeVoir that would have setup the game-ending double play. DeVoir, however, was unable to handle it, allowing Kelly to score and pinch runner Joel Melinski to move to second base, narrowing the gap to 6-2.
UIC head coach Mike Dee brought in Haehnel in relief to face Cleveland State pinch hitter Eric Schmitz. Schmitz drew a walk, loading the bases for Vikings' pinch hitter Gary Ball. Ball roped a shot to UIC second baseman Bryan Russo, who forced Schmitz at second base.
DeVoir's relay throw, however, sailed past first baseman Brad Ryan, allowing both Angelo and Melinski to score to draw within two runs at 6-4. Haehnel, however, struck out Cleveland State designated hitter Gian Testa to end the game.
Cleveland State starter Brian Beaumier (1-5) was tagged with the complete-game loss in the opener, allowing six runs - two earned - along with nine hits, while striking out five batters.
In the nightcap, Peters led the offensive attack again for the Flames, as the Orland Park, Ill., native went 2-for-3 with two runs scored and a RBI.
UIC got on the board first in the bottom of the second inning as Ball plunked Moran with a pitch to open the frame. Moran advanced to second on a wild pitch and moved to third on a flyout by senior catcher Kevin Nelson. DeVoir then plated Moran with a RBI single to put UIC ahead, 1-0.
UIC took a 3-0 lead into the bottom of the fifth when Cleveland State reliever Brandon Finomore's inability to find the plate got the best of him. Following a one-out bunt single by J.P. Carey, Finomore walked both Peters and first baseman Brad Ryan to load the bases for the Flames.
Finomore struck out Moran, but gave up a two-run single to Nelson giving UIC the 5-0 lead and putting the game out of reach for the Vikings.
Cleveland State starter Gary Ball took the loss for the Vikings in Game Two, allowing three runs and five hits in four innings of work, while fanning three batters.
Both teams will be back in action on Sunday afternoon for the series finale beginning at 12:05 p.m.