Baseball Sweeps Twinbill With 4-1 Win Over Vikings
May 11, 2008
Chicago, Ill.- Chris Kovacevich turned in a strong six-plus inning start, and closer Adam Worthington sealed the deal as the UIC baseball team defeated Cleveland State, 4-1, in the second game of Sunday's doubleheader at Les Miller Field.
The Flames (27-19, 14-6 Horizon League) swept the Mother's Day twinbill over the Vikings (20-25, 9-11) and kept themselves in the hunt for a seventh straight Horizon League regular season title.
Kovacevich, who allowed just two hits in six and a third, tossed four hitless innings to begin the game before Bobby Cash's liner zoomed past the outreached glove of third baseman Jason Ganek for the Vikings' first base knock of the game.
UIC had struck first in the second, taking advantage of Rafael Garcia's one-out infield single when Ganek hit a laser down the right field line that resulted in an RBI triple.
Brett Schaefer led off the sixth with a double and moved up 90 feet on a passed ball. An intentional walk was issued to Garcia to set up an inning-ending double play, and it appeared that the Vikings got what they wanted when Ganek hit a grounder to Cash. But the Cleveland State second baseman was unable to get a clean grasp of the ball to make a toss to second, forcing him to take the out at first as Schaefer crossed the plate.
Cleveland State cut its deficit down to one with one out in the seventh, when two straight bunt attempts resulted in a single and a two-base throwing error on Kovacevich that scored an unearned tally. That ended the left-hander's night as head coach Mike Dee summoned Worthington from the bullpen, and the junior right-hander squashed the Viking rally with a flyout and a strikeout.
The Flames returned the favor in the bottom half of the seventh with an unearned tally of their own. Ty Rubio reached on a two-out single, and Jake Carr hit a fly to left for what appeared to be the final out of the frame until right fielder Adam Heideman had the ball bounce off of his glove for a three-base run-scoring error.
As has been the case most of the season, Steve McGuiggan delivered a clutch two-out base hit when he shot a single into right with the bases loaded in the eighth that tacked on another run.
Worthington made it interesting in the ninth when the Vikings loaded the bases with only one out. The UIC closer was unfazed, however, striking out back-to-back hitters to end the game and chalk up his fifth save.
UIC travels to West Lafayette, Ind. this Wednesday to face Purdue at 3 p.m.