Depleted Baseball Advances To Horizon League Championship Game|
May 23, 2009
LORAIN, Ohio- The shorthanded UIC baseball team advanced to the 2009 Horizon League Championship title game after defeating Milwaukee, 18-3, in an elimination game at The Pipe Yard on Saturday.
The Flames (28-22) will meet Wright State later today at 2 p.m. Central. UIC must defeat the Raiders to force a winner-take-all championship finale on Sunday at 10 a.m. Central.
John Rosinski went 6-for-6, tying the Horizon League Championship record for hits in a game, with six RBI. Five UIC hitters had multi-hit performances during the contest as the Flames churned out 21 hits.
Despite playing without four starters, UIC broke open a two-run game by sending 14 men to the plate in a nine-run, eight-hit fifth inning. Seven straight batters reached at one point during the offensive onslaught.
All-League infielders Brandon Harwell and Jason Ganek were admitted to a local hospital with severe flu symptoms, while two of UIC's hottest hitters, catcher Nathan Orf (hamstring) and outfielder Chris Rutta (concussion/knee), were also unavailable.
Fielding a revamped lineup and a depleted bench, the Flames were undaunted. UIC jumped out to an early 3-0 by sending eight hitters to the dish, scoring first on Rosinski's RBI triple off the right field fence and putting two more on the scoreboard after Steve McGuiggan's RBI groundout to second and catcher Shaun Wegner's passed ball during Andy Leonard's at-bat.
Milwaukee would cut the deficit down to one with a two-run third, but UIC tacked on a tally in the fourth prior to completely overwhelming three different Panther pitchers in the fifth. Rosinski had an RBI single and a two-run base hit during the rally.
Starter Michael Heesch improved to 5-0 with seven stout innings of three-run ball. Heesch gave up just six hits and only two outside of the Panthers' four-hit third.
The Panthers complete their season at 28-27.
Flames fans can follow the championship in a variety of ways. Saturday's games and a possible Sunday game will be video streamed on the Horizon League Network (free registration required). Gametracker will be available for every game, and fans can receive in-game tweet updates from The Pipe Yard press box on Twitter from @uicflamesdotcom.
Flames fans can listen to exclusive podcasts, featuring interviews with closer Derrick Miramontes and head coach Mike Dee, by clicking here to download the UIC Athletics Widget. The podcasts are also available on iTunes.