Baseball Beats Cleveland State To Advance In Horizon League Championship
May 24, 2007
Chicago, Ill.- Zach Peterson broke the school record for career victories by picking up his 27th win in a Flames uniform with eight strong innings as the UIC baseball team defeated Cleveland State, 8-5, to advance in the 2007 U.S. Army Horizon League Baseball Championship at Les Miller Field on Thursday night.
Larry Gempp Jr. homered, tripled and doubled for the Flames (32-19) in a 3-for-4 effort that fell just a single short of the first cycle in Horizon League Championship history.
Top-seeded UIC advances to play second-seeded Wright State for a spot in the championship round this Friday night at Les Miller Field beginning at 7:00 p.m.
On a gusty day in the Windy City, the wind played plenty of tricks on fielders from both teams throughout the game. The conditions helped the Vikings (14-43) draw first blood with a couple of first-inning hits that got carried in numerous directions by the wind.
But UIC flexed its muscle in its half of the first. After Chad Schroeder (2-for-4, three runs) and Nick Rainwater (3-for-5, two runs, RBI) hit back-to-back singles to lead off the frame, Horizon League Newcomer of the Year Micky Pingree crushed a Brian Long offering and hit the Flames Athletic Center in left center for a three-run blast.
The next batter, Gempp, hit a Long pitch over the right centerfield wall for back-to-back jacks and a 4-1 UIC lead.
Not to be outdone, David Cales launched a bomb over left center for his fifth homer of the year just three batters later.
UIC would score seven times in the first two innings.
That's all the Horizon League Pitcher of the Year would need, as Peterson stayed steady throughout. He scattered 11 hits, allowed four earned runs and struck out six in his eight-inning outing.
With some trouble brewing in the top of the ninth, head coach Mike Dee summoned his closer, Cales, from second base to the mound to get the last three outs. That's what the Chicago native did, as Cales struck out three Viking hitters, including two with the bases loaded, to clinch his 12th save and the win.
The win helped Peterson surpass Steve Carlson in the school record book for career wins. The senior right-hander is now 27-7 in four years at UIC.