Baseball Claims 8-3 Victory over First-Place Crusaders
May 12, 2012
VALPARAISO, Ind. – The UIC baseball team triumphed over first-place Valparaiso on Saturday afternoon, snapping its eight-game losing streak, by a final score of 8-3. Freshman pitcher Brian Evak tossed his first collegiate complete game, allowing just nine hits and three runs. The Flames struck first in the top of the third inning with a single run and never relinquished the lead. The Crusaders entered the contest tied-for-first in the Horizon League with Wright State, owning a record of 18-7 record, but dropped to second in the standings with today’s loss.
With the win, UIC improves to 17-30 overall and 10-15 in the conference.
“Today we got great performances from all 10 guys on the field,” said head coach Mike Dee. “Valparaiso is a very good club and their pitcher Wild is one of the best in the league. Brian (Evak) threw a great game and really competed.”
Leading the charge at the plate were juniors Alex DeLaRosa and Alex Grunenwald as they both hit 3-for-5. Grunenwald was responsible for half of UIC’s scores with three RBI and one run, while De LaRosa picked up one each. Of the 14 Flames’ hits on the day, eight separate players posted at least one hit.
The Flames first run came in the top of the third as Jacob McNamara scored on a wild pitch after he reached base with a triple to right center. UIC followed that up with three more runs in the top of the fourth inning as Jon Ryan singled to start things off. The next batter, Grunenwald, drilled an RBI-double that scored Ryan and was then advanced to third off a single by Ryan Boss. Nick Addison loaded the bases after he was hit by a pitch and then Alex Lee moved all runners over one station with a single through the right side. McNamara posted the final RBI on the frame with a sacrifice fly to right field that plated Boss, giving UIC the 4-0 edge.
Over the next four innings, both squads traded a pair of runs, with the Flames’ still holding a four-run lead at 6-2.
UIC tacked on its final two scores in the eighth frame as Lee reached base on a walk and was eventually moved over to second and then third on a sacrifice bunt and a wild pitch, respectively. McNamara joined Lee on base after he was walked and with runners on first and third, De LaRosa ripped a double down the left field line to score Lee. Betcher tallied the second RBI with a sac fly to left field as McNamra trotted home safely.
Valpo scored the game’s final run in the bottom of the ninth, but failed to rally as UIC secured the five-run win.
Sunday’s series finale will begin at 1 p.m. CT with freshman Tim Tarter set to pitch for the Flames.