Baseball's Comeback Against Youngstown State Falls Short
May 28, 2011
DAYTON, Ohio - The UIC baseball team surrendered eight runs in the first three innings and its valiant comeback effort fell short Saturday as the Flames lost to the Youngstown Penguins in an elimination game at the Horizon League Championship, 12-7.
After a scoreless first inning, in which the Penguins left the bases loaded, the sixth seed began to attack Flames (28-26) starter Tim Suminski (0-2). The left-handed sophomore, who was making his first start of the season, struggled to find the strike zone early on as he issued four walks and allowed three hits in just 1.1 innings of work.
Trailing 8-1 after two and a half innings, the Flames offense began to go to work against Youngstown State's Bill Turosky. Steve McGuiggan led off the inning with a walk and Alex De LaRosa and Jason Ganek followed with back-to-back singles. Matt Serna walked for an RBI the easy way and two batters later, Joe Betcher uncorked a two-run double to left field that allowed his team to inch closer, making it 8-4.
After reliever Collin Weyer worked a scoreless top of the fourth inning, UIC hung another crooked number on the scoreboard. Ryan Shober and McGuiggan led off the frame with two straight base hits. De LaRosa attempted to sacrifice the runners to second and third, but Turosky threw to third to try for the force out. Shober was called out on the play, but the Flames still had things cooking with one away. Ganek came up and drilled a double to left center field, easily scoring McGuiggan and moving De LaRosa to third. Serna then had an RBI groundout to second base and Andy Leonard helped to plate the third run with a base knock up the middle. Just like that, the deficit was merely one, 8-7.
Unfortunately, the UIC bats were sluggish from that point forward as the regular season co-champions mustered only two hits from the fifth inning on. Leonard hit a leadoff double to start the seventh, but he would not make it any further and Ganek led off the ninth with a single, but the senior would end the game standing at third base.
The Penguins added an insurance run in the seventh and three more in the top of the ninth to secure the victory and advance to play the loser of the Wright State versus Valparasio game tonight at 7 p.m. CDT.
In total, YSU racked up 16 hits and drew 11 walks in its win. The Flames were also plagued by two errors during the game. In the two losses at the 2011 Horizon League Championship, UIC committed five miscues, while in the 1-0 win over Milwaukee, they were perfect on defense with zero errors.
Ganek led the Flames with a three-hit performance on Saturday, while Serna and Betcher had two RBI apiece. Serna ended his college career by reaching base safely in 31 straight games.