Baseball Suffers Heartbreaking Loss At Hands Of UW-Milwaukee, 7-6, In MCC Tourney
May 19, 2001
Chicago, Ill. - It was what you would expect in a game between the #1 and #2 seed in a baseball tournament.
UW-Milwaukee's Scott Gillitzer connected for a two-run single with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning to give the Panthers a 7-6 victory over UIC in the semifinals of the Midwestern Collegiate Conference Baseball championships on Saturday afternoon at Les Miller Field.
UW-Milwaukee (38-16) will meet the winner of the UIC-Butler/Cleveland State showdown tomorrow at 1 PM.
Winning pitcher Jason Crawford (4-1) opened the bottom of the ninth inning with a single to center field. D.J. Daggett advanced Crawford over to second base on a sacrifice bunt. UIC starting pitcher Wes Gilliam (2-6) retired shortstop Matt Houk and walked MCC Player of the Year Darin Haugom. Following Gilliam's free pass to Haugom, senior Steve Carlson entered the game in relief.
Carlson issued a wild pitch, which advanced Houk and Haugom over to second and third, setting the stage for Gillitzer's heroics. Gillitzer took a 1-1 offering from Carlson and grounded a Seeing Eye single through first and second base for the game-winning hit.
Quintin Oldenburg, the MCC Pitcher of the Year, earned the starting nod for the Panthers and went seven innings while scattering nine hits and striking out seven. Gilliam allowed only three unearned runs, scattered eight hits and struck out five Panthers' batters.
UWM took a 5-3 lead into the eighth inning when the Flames' mounted their final comeback. Designated hitter Weber Bowen (Minneapolis, Minn./Blake School) opened the inning with a single to left to. Freshman Chris Kerpan (Waukegan, Ill./Waukegan) promptly followed with a single to center field.
Sophomore catcher Kevin Nelson (Arlington Heights, Ill./Rolling Meadows) reached base on a throwing error by Gillitzer, which scored Bowen, cutting the Panthers lead to 5-4. Freshman shortstop Mike Bruszer (Deerfield, Ill./Deerfield) plated Kerpan with a RBI single to right field to tie the game at 5.
Sophomore Curtis Granderson (Lynwood, Ill./T.F. South) advanced Nelson and Bruszer over with a sacrifice bunt. UIC took a 6-5 lead as Crawford uncorked a wild pitch that scored Nelson from third base.
UIC took the early 1-0 lead as junior John Rosner (Ottawa, Ill./Marquette) launched his sixth homer of the season over the right field wall.
UWM quickly answered in the bottom half of the frame as third baseman Steve Guden connected for a two-run double, while first baseman Eric Goerdt tallied a RBI fielders choice to give the Panthers a 3-1 lead.
The Flames quickly struck back with two runs in the top of the second as sophomore left fielder Chuck Peters (Orland Park, Ill./Sandburg) grounded a two-run single to knot the game up at 3-apiece.
Guden struck again in the bottom of the third inning as he plated Gillitzer from third base with a sacrifice fly to give UWM a 4-3 lead. The Panthers extended their lead to 5-3 in the fourth inning as Daggett launched an opposite-field solo homer.
UIC will take on the winner of the #4 Butler-#5 Cleveland State contest tonight at 7: 00 PM.