Baseball Captures Horizon League Championship With 2-1 Victory Over Butler|
May 25, 2003
Fairborn, Ohio - Junior shortstop Jordan DeVoir connected for a walk-off home-run off of Butler reliever Randy Miles to lead off the bottom of the ninth inning lifting the University of Illinois at Chicago to the 2-1 victory over Butler in the Horizon League Tournament Championship and the automatic bid to the NCAA Regional at Wright State's Nischwitz Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
With the victory, UIC ties a school-record with their 39th victory of the season against 16 losses. The Flames will now advance to the NCAA Regionals with the pairings announced at 11:30 a.m. (CST) on ESPN2 on Monday morning. Butler ends the season at 34-27.
"What a great experience," UIC head coach Mike Dee said. "We deserved it, we have some guys that have worked so hard for four years and they went out there and played relaxed and with confidence.
"It was a great game all-around."
UIC right-hander Marcus Goodman allowed one runs and five hits, while striking out a career-high eight batters in 7.1 innings of work. Sophomore reliever David Haehnel surrendered one hit and struck out two batters in 1.2 innings to improve his record to 6-1 on the campaign. Miles (3-2) took the loss for the Bulldogs.
UIC got on the board in the bottom of the third inning as Mike Hughes, the Horizon League Tournament MVP, launched a two-out opposite-field solo homer, his eighth of the season, to give the Flames the 1-0 advantage.
Butler threatened in the top of the third inning as the Bulldogs had runners at first and third with one out, before Goodman induced center fielder Dale Mueller into an inning-ending, 6-4-3 double-play.
Butler starter Aaron Phillips' pitched himself out of a jam in the bottom of the sixth inning after hitting both J.P. Carey and J.P. Moran, and walking Brad Ryan to load the bases with out for DeVoir. DeVoir grounded to shortstop Justin McKinley, who forced Ryan at second to end the inning.
McKinley began a rally for Butler in the top of the eighth inning as he doubled down the left-field line to open the frame. Butler pinch-hitter Jeff Albert laid down a bunt single to put runners at first and second for Bulldogs' left fielder Jonathan Day.
Day laid down a sacrifice bunt that moved both McKinley and pinch runner Matt Crews over a base. Mueller stepped to the plate and grounded out to short, allowing McKinley to score and even things up at 1-apiece.