Baseball Shipwrecks Vikings, 11-4, To Open Horizon League Tournament
May 22, 2003
Dayton, Ohio - It was a banner day for those with the names Nelson on Thursday morning.
Junior third baseman Nelson Gord and senior catcher Kevin Nelson went a combined 6-for-9 with seven RBI and four runs scored to help lead the University of Illinois at Chicago to the 11-4 victory over Cleveland State at the Horizon League Baseball Championships, hosted by Wright State, at Nischwitz Stadium, on Thursday morning.
Gord was 3-for-4 with four RBI and two runs scored, while Nelson was 3-for-5 with three RBI and two runs scored, including a bases-loaded single.
With the victory, UIC improves to 36-16 on the season and will face #3 UW-Milwaukee (25-24), which fell 9-6 to #4 Youngstown State this afternoon, at 1:30 p.m. (CST) on Friday afternoon. Cleveland State falls to 11-38.
UIC freshman John Flood scattered 11 hits and struck out a career-high eight batters to improve his record to 6-2 on the campaign. Cleveland State starter Mike Ochwat (2-4) allowed seven runs and six hits in four innings of work.
UIC got on the board in the bottom of the first inning as Gord roped a one-out double to right-center and moved over to third on a wild pitch by Ochwat. Senior designated hitter Chuck Peters drew a base on balls to put runners at first and third for the Flames.
Junior first baseman Brad Ryan plated Gord from third base with a fielder's choice to give the Flames the 1-0 advantage.
Cleveland State bounced back in the top of the third as left fielder Eric Schmitz and Ben Smith opened the inning with a pair of singles. Second baseman Mario Angelo laid down a sacrifice bunt to move Schmitz and Smith into scoring position.
Vikings' leadoff hitter Cory Rojeck plated Schmitz with a RBI single, moving Smith over to third and tying the game at 1-apiece. Cleveland State attempted a double-steal with Rojeck and Smith. UIC shortstop Jordan DeVoir took catcher Kevin Nelson's throw and went to second baseman Bryan Russo.
Russo, however, was unable to handle the throw, allowing Smith to score from third, giving Cleveland State the 2-1 advantage.
UIC quickly regained the lead in the bottom half of the frame as Gord roped a RBI double, his second of the day, to knot the game up at two. The Flames took the lead for good as junior shortstop Jordan DeVoir plated Gord with a RBI single to push ahead, 3-2.
The Flames tacked on another run in the bottom of the fourth inning and put the game out of reach for the Vikings in the fifth inning with a five-spot - highlighted by Nelson's bases loaded single.