Baseball Edges Youngstown State, 3-2
May 24, 2002
Cleveland, Ohio - University of Illinois at Chicago freshman pitcher Bill Bernabei (Tinley Park, Ill./Andrew) isn't a Boy Scout, but he is always prepared.
He needed to be on Friday afternoon, as he replaced an injured Wes Gilliam (South Holland, Ill./Thornwood) in the fifth inning and pitched 4 2/3 Innings and struck out five batters, despite a 64-minute rain delay, to help the Flames to the 3-2 victory in the second day of the Horizon League championships at Jacobs Field.
With the victory, UIC improves to 38-14, while Youngstown State ends its season at 18-26. UIC advances in the Horizon League winners bracket and will take on the winner of the #2 UW-Milwaukee-#4 Butler contest at 9:30 (CST) on Saturday morning.
Bernabei improves his record to 3-0 on the season, while Youngstown State starter Matt Brumit falls to 4-5 on the campaign.
UIC took a 3-2 lead into the top of the fifth inning as shortstop Kyle Smith drew a walk from UIC starter Wes Gilliam (South Holland, Ill./Thornwood) to open the frame. Second baseman Ty Furino then laid down a bunt that Gilliam fielded, but slipped and fell, allowing Furino to reach and put runners on first and second for the Penguins.
Gilliam, who injured his ankle on the play, faced one more batter and induced center fielder Kendall Schlabach to pop out on his sacrifice bunt attempt. UIC head coach Mike Dee, however, would not let Gilliam finish off the inning as he brought Bernabei in relief.
Bernabei allowed a single to Cox to load the bases for Lipinski. Bernabei fanned Lipinski and got third baseman Clint Ford to foul out to Nelson to end the inning.
Youngstown State got on the board first in the first inning as Furino grounded a single up the middle to begin the contest.
Furino advanced to second on a passed ball by junior catcher Kevin Nelson (Arlington Heights, Ill./Rolling Meadows) and moved over to third base on a sacrifice bunt by Schlabach.
Youngstown State first baseman Jim Lipinski then plated Furino with a RBI single to left field to give the Penguins the 1-0 lead.
UIC tied it up in the bottom of the second inning as junior designated hitter Chuck Peters (Orland Park, Ill./Sandburg) opened the inning with a single to center field and advanced to second base when Nelson was hit in the head by a Brumit offering.
Freshman Bryan Russo advanced the duo over a base with a sacrifice bunt, followed by a sacrifice fly by Nelson Gord (Buffalo Grove, Ill./Buffalo Grove), his sixth of the season, to knot the game up at one.
Youngstown State answered right back as Smith and Furino each reached base on bunt singles to open up the inning. Catcher Adam Cox then lined a sharp ground ball to Gord, who was unable to hold onto the ball, which loaded the bases with one out for the Penguins. Lipinski then added his second RBI of the day as he drove in Smith with a RBI single to move Youngstown State ahead, 2-1.
UIC then doubled their pleasure in the bottom half of the third inning as sophomore left fielder Mike Hughes (Hoffman Estates, Ill./Fremd), junior right fielder Curtis Granderson (Lynwood, Ill./T.F. South) and senior center fielder (Ottawa, Ill./Marquette) recorded consecutive doubles to open up the inning and put the Flames ahead, 3-2.