Baseball Advances With 3-1 Victory Over Detroit
May 23, 2002
Cleveland, Ohio - The fact that University of Illinois at Chicago freshman Ryan Gehring (Burlington, Wis./Central Catholic) was pitching at Jacobs Field, home of the Cleveland Indians, didn't faze him.
It didn't bother him much that he was pitching in his first collegiate playoff game either.
Gehring, in fact, looked like a seasoned veteran as the rookie southpaw tossed a complete-game five hitter as #1 UIC earned the 3-1 victory over #7 Detroit in the Flames' opening game of the Horizon League Championship at Jacobs Field on Thursday morning.
Gehring, the Horizon League Newcomer of the Year, struck out four batters and allowed one unearned run to improve his record to a team-best 9-1. Detroit hurler Omar Diaz went 7 2/3 innings, while giving up nine hits and three runs.
UIC improves to 37-14 overall, while Detroit falls to 14-35. UIC will take on #3 Youngstown State at 2:30 PM on Friday afternoon. Detroit will move to the losers bracket and will square off with #5 Cleveland State at 10:30 AM on Friday morning.
UIC got on the board first in the bottom of the second inning as sophomore first baseman Mike Lorenzo (Lockport, Ill./Providence) roped a triple off the left-field wall. Detroit center fielder Juston Davenport retrieved the ball and fired it into the UIC dugout, allowing Lorenzo to score and put the Flames ahead, 1-0.
Lorenzo was again, the catalyst for UIC in the bottom of the fourth inning as he opened the frame with a walk and advanced to third on a single by sophomore left fielder Mike Hughes (Hoffman Estates, Ill./Fremd). Lorenzo then scored the second run of the day for UIC as junior catcher Kevin Nelson (Arlington Heights, Ill./Rolling Meadows) grounded into a double-play.
Detroit cut the lead in half in the top of the sixth inning as second baseman Brian Wilson reached second base on a Mike Bruszer (Deerfield, Ill./Deerfield) throwing error and advanced to third on a Gehring balk.
Gehring retired the next two batters and plunked left fielder Roger Wechter to put runners at first and third for the Titans. Wechter broke for second in an apparent double steal, when Nelson fired the ball to Bruszer.
Wilson made his move toward home and appeared to be thrown out by Bruszer (3-for-4), but slid under Nelson's tage to bring the Titans within one at 2-1.
UIC added an insurance run in the bottom of the eighth inning as Diaz walked the bases loaded after retiring the first two batters of the inning.
Detroit coach Chris Czarnik brought in reliever Jason Horvat to face Hughes. Hughes hit a groundball that Titans' shortstop Mike Malley could not field cleanly and allowed Curtis Granderson (Lynwood, Ill./T.F. South) to score from third base.