Baseball, Haehnel Shut Down UW-Milwaukee, 9-6|
May 27, 2004
Niles, Ohio - "You show me your best and I'll show you my best. If you're best is better than mine, I'll tip my cap."
Those are the words that University of Illinois at Chicago junior reliever David Haehnel lives by, and it could not have been lived more true than on Thursday morning as the Flames squared off with the UW-Milwaukee Panthers in the Horizon League Tournament.
The Wheeling, Ill., native struck out the side in the ninth inning, including Horizon League Player of the Year, Ben Stanczyk, with the bases loaded as the Flames held on to the 9-6 victory over the Panthers at Eastwood Field.
Haehnel earned his fourth save of the season, allowing one unearned run and four hits in 2.2 innings of work. Freshman right-hander Ryan Zink (9-3) picked up the victory for the Flames, scattering 10 hits and five runs in 6.1 innings.
"We have a tremendous rivalry with (UW-Milwaukee)," UIC Head Coach Mike Dee said. "They're a very good team, well coached and they're tough kids.
"This game was huge for us because there is a big difference between the number of games you have to play in the tournament."
With the victory, UIC improves to 35-19 and advances to the Horizon League semifinals at 11:30 a.m. (CST) on Saturday morning against an opponent yet to be determined. UW-Milwaukee falls to 23-29 on the campaign and will play #2 Butler tonight at 5:30 p.m. (CST).
UWM pitcher Robert Michalkiewicz was tagged with the loss, giving up two runs and eight hits in 6.2 innings of relief.
UIC was also solid defensively on the afternoon, as they tied a season-high with four double plays.
Haehnel's job would have been much tougher in the ninth inning if not for some timely hitting by UIC in the eighth inning as the Flames plated three insurance runs, led by a two-run single by senior shortstop Jordan DeVoir (2-for-4, 2 runs, 2 RBI), extending their lead to 9-5.
UWM mounted a rally in the ninth inning as the Panthers loaded the bases, as Haehnel caught Stanczyk looking for the second out of the frame. UWM scored an unearned run as catcher Brooks Graff scored from third on a passed ball by catcher Nelson Gord, narrowing the Flames' advantage to 9-6.
Haehnel quickly halted the Panthers' momentum, fanning pinch-hitter Nick Wichser to end the game.
The Flames got things going in the first inning, posting a five-spot and batting around the order off of UWM starter Korey Keller. UIC senior outfielder Mike Hughes led the offensive charge with a three-run homer, his 13th of the season, giving him 60 RBI on the campaign.
UIC, however, let UWM back into the game in the second inning, as the Panthers took advantage of two Flames' errors, leading to three runs, two of which were unearned. Panther outfielders Sam Jansen (fielders choice) and Matt Alexander (single) each recorded RBI in the frame.
UWM squared the game up at five in the top of the fifth inning when right fielder Joe Nowicki connected for a two-run homer over the right field wall.
UIC answered in the bottom half of the frame, when senior catcher Nelson Gord plated DeVoir from second base with a RBI single, giving the Flames the 6-5 lead.