Baseball Completes Comeback In Game One at Cleveland State
May 13, 2011
AVON, Ohio - The UIC baseball team used a late-inning rally to come from behind and knock off the Cleveland State Vikings in the first game of a doubleheader at Pro Freight Stadium, 5-2.
The Flames (23-23, 12-7 Horizon League) trailed 2-1 entering the seventh and final inning, but Mike Dee's team scratched out four runs in the frame to catch and pass the Vikings (11-36, 4-18 Horizon League) in the opener of a Horizon League doubleheader.
The Flames struck early in game one, with the leadoff batter, Nick Addison coming in to score the game's first run. Addison was hit by a pitch to start the game and the next batter, designated hitter Andy Leonard, laid down a sacrifice bunt to move the runner up 90 feet. Third baseman Jason Ganek then placed a ball through the hole on the left side of the infield which allowed the fleet-footed Addison to score on the play and give UIC a 1-0 lead against Cleveland State's Anthony Sambula. For Ganek, it was his team-high 30th RBI.
The Vikings grabbed their first lead in the bottom of the third inning by scoring two runs on two errors committed by UIC. With two outs and two runners on, Cleveland State's Zach Thompson chopped a ball back to Flames pitcher Matt Heaslip. Heaslip fielded the ball with ease, but his throw sailed over first baseman Joe Betcher's outstretched glove allowing the lead runner to score. Then, right fielder Jon Ryan was charged with a throwing error as his effort allowed a second run to score on the play. Thompson also tried to score on the play, but catcher Jacob McNamara tossed the ball which had rolled to the backstop over to Heaslip who was covering the plate in time to cut down the Vikings clean-up hitter for the final out of the inning. Following the unusual sequence, Cleveland State secured its first lead of the game, however, 2-1.
UIC looked to come right back and even things up in the top of the fourth as Alex De LaRosa was hit by pitch and Betcher singled to give the visitors runners at first and third with one out. Unfortunately, Ryan bounced into his second double play in as many at-bats to end the threat.
After Heaslip retired the Vikings in the bottom of the sixth, UIC had one last crack to knot the game in the final frame against reliever Travis Miller. The effort got off to a good start when Jon Ryan drew a walk and advanced to second on McNamara's sacrifice bunt. The next batter, Ryan Shober was hit by a pitch for the second time in the game to five the Flames runners on first and second base with just one away. The next batter, Addison, was also hit by a pitch for the second time, taking one off the bill of the helmet to load the bases. The comeback would be complete when Leonard, who had missed the last five games, delivered a two-run single to UIC back on top, 3-2. Addison would then score on a sacrifice bunt by McGuiggan. McGuiggan scored the fourth run of the inning on Serna's triple to center field.
Heaslip (3-5) went the distance, earning his first win since March 25 when he bested this same Cleveland State squad in the nightcap of a doubleheader at Les Miller Field. The right-hander also tied a career high with seven strikeouts on Friday, which was also previously achieved against the Vikings that day.
With a pair of hits, Serna extended his streak of reaching base safely to a team-high 24 games.
Check back later today for a recap of game two from Pro Freight Stadium.