Baseball Uses Late Heroics To Take Two From Milwaukee
May 8, 2009
CHICAGO- Late-inning heroics served as the theme of Friday's doubleheader between the UIC baseball team and Milwaukee, as the Flames rallied back from multi-run deficits and broke deadlocks during their final turn at bat in both contests to sweep the Panthers at Les Miller Field.
The Flames broke a 4-4 ninth-inning tie in the first game on Jake Carr's two-out walk-off RBI double to win 5-4. UIC then snapped a 3-3 draw in the eighth by scoring three runs to defeat the Panthers by a 6-3 score.
UIC increased its winning streak to four games, improving to 24-20 overall and keeping its hold on first place in the Horizon League with a 15-5 conference mark.
The Panthers, who came in as the league's second-place team, moved to 21-24 overall and 10-8 in league games.
Game One: UIC 5, Milwaukee 4
Nathan Orf's single with two outs in the ninth inning set the stage for Carr's game-winning RBI double down the left field line as the Flames rallied from two runs down on two occasions to walk off with a 5-4 win in Friday's twinbill lid-lifter.
Adam Worthington went the distance for the third time this season, fanning five and scattering eight hits to get the win.
The Panthers scored twice in the second on solo homers hit by Dan Buchholz and Shawn Wozniak, but the Flames responded with Chris Rutta's solo blast in the bottom of the second and a bases-loaded double-play ground ball hit off of Carr's bat that brought in the tying run during the third.
Milwaukee scored single tallies in the fourth and fifth to regain its two-run advantage, but the Flames rallied back once again in the seventh. Orf doubled home a run and advanced to third on an error in an unsuccessful attempt to get Tony Altavilla at home by shortstop Cole Kraft, and Carr followed with an RBI single to even the contest.
That's how the game stayed until the bottom of the ninth. It appeared Panther starter Brad Lusti was on his way to sending the game into extra frames after inducing the first two UIC hitters into quick outs, but Orf singled through the left side of the infield to keep the game going.
Carr stepped to the plate and hit the second pitch he saw from Lusti down the line in left. The ball bounced all the way to the corner, and left fielder Tim Patzman's throw home was not in time as Orf slid in safely for the game-winning run.
Game Two: UIC 6, Milwaukee 3
The Flames rallied from three runs down by scoring six unanswered runs, breaking a 3-3 tie with three runs in the bottom of the eighth to clinch the doubleheader sweep over Milwaukee with a 6-3 victory in Friday's nightcap.
UIC fell behind 3-0 after three and a half innings but mounted its comeback in the bottom of the fourth when Andy Leonard hit a two-out RBI single to get the Flames on the board.
The Flames tied it in the fifth on Brett Schafer's two-run single to left.
Michael Heesch rebounded from a rocky beginning to allow just three runs in 6.1 innings during the first weekend start of his young career, and reliever Eric Wyman came on with a runner at third and one out in the deadlocked game and struck out two straight hitters to end the threat.
UIC almost went ahead in the seventh when Brandon Harwell hit a deep drive to right to lead off the inning, but Wozniak leaped over the wall to corral the ball and rob Harwell of a homer with an amazing grab.
Schaefer led off the decisive eighth with his third single of the contest, and John Rosinski came on to pinch run. Before reliever Cameron Amsrud offered a pitch to Chris Rutta, the Milwaukee pitcher attempted to pick off Rosinski but threw the ball past Buchholz covering first, allowing Rosinski to move all the way to third.
Two batters later Rosinski walked home on Jason Ganek's go-ahead RBI single down the right field line.
UIC would load the bases with two out for Harwell, who hit a single through the left side for the inning's second run, and after another Milwaukee pitching change, Orf came to the plate and bunted the first pitch he saw from closer Craig Meier down the third base line for an infield RBI single.
Closer Derrick Miramontes slammed the door on the Panthers, tossing the final 1.2 innings to get the decision and improve to 5-0 on the season.
The Flames will get a preview of The Pipe Yard, the home of the 2009 Horizon League Baseball Championships later this month, this Sunday when they play a doubleheader against Cleveland State in Lorian, Ohio.