Flames Baseball Celebrates Successful 2000 Season At Post-Season Banquet
May 25, 2000
Chicago, Ill. - The UIC baseball team, along with family, friends and supporters of the program, gathered one final time on Tuesday night at the first-ever post-season banquet to celebrate a remarkable 2000 season.
After starting out the year 1-10, the young Flames showed continued improvement and finished up strong, going 27-10 over the final 37 games of the season and 13-4 over the last stretch of the campaign to compile a 33-26 overall record. UIC's 33 wins matches the school record for single season victories and its final mark is also the first time since 1993 that the Flames have finished above .500.
Honored at the banquet were UIC's All-MCC honorees - Sean McNichols (First Team), John Rosner (First Team), Eric Duke (Second Team), Bob Rosinski (Second Team), Weber Bowen (All-Newcomer), Curtis Granderson (All-Newcomer), Brad Mears (All-Newcomer), J.P. Moran (All-Newcomer) and Nick Worm (All-Newcomer). Head Coach Mike Dee was also presented his MCC Co-Coach of the Year award as he shared the honor for the second straight year after leading UIC to its first-ever MCC regular-season title with a 12-6 record.
Dee also handed out several team awards with Offensive Player of the Year going to McNichols, Pitcher of the Year awarded to Mears and Defensive Player of the Year given to Rosinski. McNichols, who started at shortstop in 55 of 59 games, finished the year batting .352 with a team-high 70 hits and seven sacrifices. Mears led the UIC starters as well as the MCC with a 3.89 ERA and a .218 opposing batting average while he struck out 72 batters in 90.1 innings pitched. Rosinski, after catching much of the 1999 campaign, began this season at first base before moving over to third for the final 36 games of the year. At the hot corner, Rosinski fielded .950 while coming up with the big plays time and time again. At the plate, he compiled a .319 batting average and struck out just 19 times in 191 at bats.
The team's Leadership Award was presented to Duke, a senior, who batted .291 with a team-high 45 RBI and led the young Flames by his positive actions and attitude both on and off the field. The Most Improved Player was given to Rosner, who took over the first base chores midway through the season and fielded a stellar .993 while compiling a .333 batting average, which was third-highest on the team. With the group effort required for the Flames' success in 2000, the Arnie J. Hartoch MVP Award was presented to the UIC Dugout for their unrelenting encouragement, enthusiasm and support from the top step of the dugout all season long.
The Flames' seniors, Duke, Brad Goebbert, Bodgan Gryglak, Jason Hughes, McNichols and Joe Schicker, concluded the banquet with their final farewells and closed the book on UIC's most successful season since the early 90's.
UIC, which has made a remarkable turnaround under second-year skipper Dee, reversing an 18-30 overall record in 1999 to a 33-26 mark this year, should be the MCC pre-season favorite in 2001 as the Flames' welcome back a bulk of the starting lineup.