Baseball Ready for 2013 Horizon League Championship
May 22, 2013
CHICAGO - The UIC baseball team will journey to Niles, Ohio for the start of the 2013 Horizon League Baseball Championship hosted by Youngstown State at Eastwood Field. The second-seeded Flames will commence tournament action on Thursday against No. 3 seed Valparaiso at 11 a.m. ET. UIC tied-for-second in the regular season with the Crusaders, but own the tie-breaker by winning five of their six meetings. The second-place finish marks the 12th occurrence in the past 14 seasons that UIC has concluded the conference slate within the league's top two.
"Valparaiso is a club that we certainly respect," said head coach Mike Dee. "I think our guys are playing as well as they have played all season and we have a lot of confidence going into the tournament. We're going to take these games one pitch at a time and if we play the way we are capable of then I like our chances."
Last season, the Flames advanced to the title game with the No. 4 seed, but eventually fell to No. 1 seed Valpo, 14-5. This year marks just the third time that UIC has donned the No. 2 seed and owns a 6-6 record in tourney play with the second seed. Overall, the Flames carry a 36-28 tournament record and a 59-45 mark against the Crusaders all-time.
UIC has a storied history in Horizon League Tournament as they have earned nine championship or runner-up trophies all-time, which is the highest total throughout the league's 32-year tournament life. Eight of those trophies have come since 2000, including four first-place finishes.
Sophomore pitcher and first-team All-Leaguer Tomas Michelson will take the mound for UIC on Thursday as Valpo is scheduled to throw right-hander Cole Webb. All games of the Horizon Baseball Tournament will be streamed live for free on HorizonLeague.com with play beginning on Wednesday.