`Forty Flames to Follow' for 2013-14: Ian Lewandowski
July 11, 2013
CHICAGO –Coverage of UICFlames.com’s ‘Forty Flames to Follow’ summer series continues on Thursday with freshman baseball player Ian Lewandowski. The right-handed hurler worked his way into the starting rotation after just six weeks into the 2013 season. His talents were noticed by the opposing Horizon League coaches as they voted him on the conference’s All-Newcomer Team.
Lewandowski made his collegiate debut in the Flames’ season opener on Feb. 15 and was immediately put to the test. UIC held a 2-0 lead against nationally-ranked Texas A&M as Lewandowski’s number was called in the eighth inning for some relief pitching. The freshman stepped up to the challenge and retired four straight Aggie batters, setting the stage for teammate Alex Posey to come in for the save and ultimately the victory. The win was UIC’s first triumph over a ranked-opponent in nearly three years.
Middle relief was Lewandowski’s calling card for the next month-and-a-half until he was given the nod on March 30 against Western Illinois. In his first collegiate start, Lewandowski tossed 8.2 innings, struck out four batters with no walks, allowed zero runs and picked up the win. Needless to say that Lewandoski had secured his spot on the weekend rotation for the remainder of the year.
The Naperville, Ill., native ended the season with a 5-3 record, while limiting opposing batters to an average of .260. His 77.1 innings pitched was the second-highest tally on the team and his 3.26 ERA ranked third among regular starters as did his 39 strikeouts.
With Lewandowski and first-team All-Leaguer Tomas Michleson returning next season, the UIC baseball team will house arguably one of the best pitching staffs in the Horizon League.