Cleveland State Rallies For 12-8 Victory Over Baseball
May 29, 2004
Niles, Ohio - Cleveland State freshman outfielder Marc Sikora belted a three-run homer, leading a seven-run charge in the fifth inning, to propel the #3 Vikings to the 12-8 come-from-behind, Horizon League Baseball Tournament victory over the University of Illinois at Chicago at Youngstown State's Eastwood Field on Saturday evening.
The Vikings sent 11 batters to the plate during the frame and six of those runs were unearned.
With the victory, Cleveland State improves to 19-32 and advances to the Horizon League finals against Youngstown State on Sunday morning at 11:30 a.m. (CST). UIC finishes the season with a record of 35-21.
CSU starter Mike Ochwat (3-2) earned the victory for the Vikings, allowing six runs and eight hits in six innings of work. Vikings' reliever Gian Testa allowed two runs and struck out four batters in three innings to pick up his seventh save of the season.
UIC reliever Charlie Hahn (3-5) was tagged with the loss, surrendering four runs and four hits, while only retiring one batter.
UIC got on the board in the third inning as junior first baseman Justin Johnson connected for a three-run homer, his eighth of the season, to put the Flames ahead, 3-0. They added another run in the fourth inning, when J.P. Moran plated Brad Ryan (single) with a sacrifice fly, extending UIC's lead to 4-0.
The Vikings quickly responded in the fifth as Brian Lombardi (single), Steve Chinn (single), Doug Besozzi (single) and Sikora (three-run homer) each notched RBI, giving the CSU the 7-4 advantage.
UIC answered in the bottom half of the frame as second baseman Bryan Russo reached base on an error and scored as CSU centerfielder Cory Rojeck misplayed a Mike Hughes' flyball into a three-base error.
Johnson then plated Hughes with a single up the middle for his fourth RBI, narrowing CSU's advantage to 7-6.
The Vikings tallied another run in the sixth inning as they loaded the bases with no outs. UIC Head Coach Mike Dee brought in reliever David Haehnel, who induced Rojeck into a double play bringing home first baseman Ryan Dukovich for CSU's eighth run of the evening.
CSU put on another run in the seventh inning as third baseman Dominic Erney led off the frame with a triple and scored on a RBI single by shortstop Ben Smith, giving the Vikings a 9-6 lead.
UIC rallied in the bottom of the seventh as CSU reliever Gian Testa issued a pair of one-out walks to Hughes and Johnson. Flames' shortstop Jordan DeVoir drove in Hughes with a RBI single, while Ryan brought in Johnson with a sacrifice fly, cutting the Vikings' lead to 9-8.
Cleveland State, however, put the game out of reach in the ninth inning, as Chinn roped a two-run double and Rojeck plated him with a RBI single, for the final score of 12-8.