Baseball Sweeps Cleveland State, 7-0 and 6-4
May 4, 2002
Euclid, Ohio - Hits were at a premium for both the University of Illinois at Chicago and Cleveland State in game one of their doubleheader as they combined for a total of ten hits.
UIC, however, made use of their six hits as five of them accounted for RBI as the Flames went on for the 7-0 victory over Cleveland State at Memorial Field #1 on Saturday afternoon. The Flames completed the sweep with a 8-4 win over the Vikings in the nightcap.
With the victories, UIC improves to 30-11 and 10-3 in Horizon League play, while the Vikings fall to 12-28 overall and 6-9 in league action.
Freshman southpaw Ryan Gehring earned his fourth complete-game victory and second shutout of the year in game one, as he improves his record to 7-1 on the campaign. Gehring allowed four hits and struck out eight Cleveland State batters on the afternoon.
Cleveland State starter Matt Kaltenbach (0-6) was done in by a porous Vikings defense that committed six errors on the day, which led to three unearned runs.
Sophomore designated hitter Mike Lorenzo (Lockport, Ill./Providence) led the UIC offensive attack as he went 2-for-4 with a RBI, while teammate Nelson Gord (Buffalo Grove, Ill./Buffalo Grove) legged out a two-run double in his only at-bat.
Cleveland State got on the board first in the nightcap as centerfielder Ernest Simpson roped a leadoff homer to put the Vikings ahead 1-0.
UIC, however, bounced back in the top half of the second inning with a three-spot as the Flames took advantage of Cleveland State starter Eric Zizelman. Zizelman opened the inning with three consecutive walks and balked home Lorenzo with the tying run.
Sophomore Mike Hughes (Hoffman Estates, Ill./Fremd) plated Andy Deahl (Wilmette, Ill./New Trier) with a RBI single and Chuck Peters (Orland Park, Ill./Sandburg) scored on a safety squeeze by Gord to extend the Flames' lead to 3-1.
UIC added two more in the top of the third as junior Curtis Granderson (Lynwood, Ill./T.F. South) roped a one-out double off the right field wall and advanced to third on a Zizelman wild pitch.
Lorenzo followed with a walk to put runners on the corners for Deahl. Deahl launched a shot that shortstop Ben Smith was unable to handle that scored Granderson. Peters followed with a RBI double off the center field wall that plated Lorenzo and extended UIC's lead to 5-1.
Lorenzo scored his third run of the day in the top of the fifth inning as he connected for his fourth homer of the season over the right field wall to put UIC ahead, 6-1.
Cleveland State answered in the bottom of the fifth inning as Simpson roped a two-run bases-loaded single to cut UIC's lead in half at 6-3. The Vikings closed the gap to 6-4, as Hughes misplayed a single by Jeff Katlen, allowing Pat Smith to score from second base.
Sophomore shortstop Mike Bruszer (Deerfield, Ill./Deerfield) added a crucial insurance run in the top of the seventh inning as he led off the frame with his first homer of the season to push the Flames ahead, 7-4. UIC then loaded the bases for left fielder J.P. Carey (Homewood, Ill./Homewood-Flossmoor).
Carey grounded into a fielders choice that scored sophomore second baseman Mark Homco (Galesburg, Ill./Galesburg) from third base and extend UIC's lead to 8-4.
Junior Eric Xidis (Merrillville, Ind./Merrillville) earned the victory to improve to 5-4 on the season. Xidis went four innings, allowed six hits and struck out three batters. Freshman Bill Bernabei (Tinley Park, Ill./Andrew) pitched the final three innings and struck out five batters to pick up his second save of the season.
UIC and Cleveland State will be back in action at Memorial Field #1 on Sunday for the series finale at 11:00 AM (CST).