Baseball Hits the Road for a Pair of Midweek Games
April 2, 2013
CHICAGO - The UIC baseball team will begin a five-game road stretch this week with a pair of back-to-back non-conference games against Notre Dame and Northwestern on Tuesday and Wednesday, respectively. The Flames currently ride a six-game winning streak that dates back to March 23 and includes a series sweep versus Western Illinois this past weekend. UIC will conclude its travels with a three-game stint at Valparaiso, beginning on Friday.
The match-up against Notre Dame will begin at 4:35 p.m. CT as UIC will look for its fifth straight victory against the Fighting Irish. The most recent gathering between the two ball clubs ended in an 8-5 Flames' triumph at Les Miller Field back on March 27, 2012. This season, Notre Dame touts a 15-9 overall record and ranks No. 20 in the Baseball America Top 25 Poll. ND sat at No. 16 the week prior, but fell down four spots after three straight losses to No. 9 Big East-rival Louisville.
Northwestern is set to play St. Francis on Tuesday before hosting UIC on Wednesday at 3:00 p.m. The Flames have held the series advantage over the Wildcats as of late, winning four of the last six gatherings and seven of the previous 11. Northwestern is fresh off a series loss at Nebraska this past weekend as NU dropped all three games by an average of just two runs per outing and played 16 innings in game No. 1. The marathon contest took five hours and 16 minutes to complete and serves as the longest game for Northwestern in over a quarter century.
The Flames have been relying on outstanding pitching and defense in recent games, allowing just 12 runs in their last five outings. Against the Leathernecks this past weekend, UIC held WIU scoreless in 26 of the 29 played innings and forced 21 total stranded base runners.
Sophomore right-hander Brian Evak will take the mound for the Flames at Notre Dame, while redshirt junior RHP Mike McKinley gets the nod for Wednesday. In 18.1 innings pitched this year, Evak owns a 2.95 ERA and an opposing batting average of .266. McKinley carries a 2-0 record with a recent win over reigning MVC-champion Indiana State last Wednesday as he allowed just one hit in seven frames.
Tuesday's game will be streamed live by UND.com and Northwestern will provide audio for Wednesday's contest.