Flames, and coach, claim top spots after fifth-straight series win
The baseball team (16-12-1, 11-4 Horizon League) won its fifth-straight Horizon League series Sunday afternoon, claiming victory in a doubleheader at Milwaukee (17-11, 6-8 Horizon League). Head coach Mike Dee is now the all-time winning coach in program history with 510 victories, surpassing Hall-of-Famer Les Miller, who had held the top spot since 1979.
UIC has won 10 of its last 12 games and remains on top of the conference standings. With an 11-4 Horizon League record, the Flames are off to their best conference start since 2008.
The Flames host Northwestern at 6 p.m. today at Curtis Granderson Stadium, then head to Valparaiso for a three-game series this weekend.
Senior Jeff Boehm went 4-for-10 from the plate and racked up five RBI on the day. Senior Ryan Hinchley came in for relief in both contests and allowed a mere two hits and one earned run in 3.2 innings.
Junior Ian Lewandowski impressed on the mound in the first game as he improved to 4-2 on the season after tossing 7.2 innings. He allowed five hits, two walks and zero runs. Hinchley came in for the final four outs to preserve the shutout, UIC’s third of the season.
Boehm was responsible for three of UIC’s five RBI as he went 2-for-5 from the dish. Freshmen David Cronin and Rob Calabrese also recorded two hits in the opening game. Boehm now has 38 RBI on the season, which exceeds his 2014 total of 30.
Sophomore Cody Bohanek drove in the Flames’ first run in the third inning on an infield single that plated Calabrese.
After four scoreless frames, UIC pushed across three scores in the eighth inning to go ahead, 4-0. Boehm drove in Bohanek and senior Carl Sugihara off a single to left center and Cronin plated senior Tyler Detmer with a bunt-single.
The Flames added an insurance run in the top of the ninth as Boehm secured his third and final RBI of the game with an infield single that sent in redshirt senior Alex Lee for the Flames’ 5-0 win.
Junior hurler Trevor Lane scattered eight hits over 6.2 innings in the second game, yielding two earned runs and striking out four UWM batters. Lane improved to 3-2 on the season and has allowed just two runs in his last 22 innings on the mound.
Milwaukee plated two runs to jump in front, 2-0, in the bottom of the fifth frame.
The Flames answered with three runs in the top of the sixth. Boehm started the surge as he drove in Detmer and Bohanek with his 10th double of the season. Redshirt junior Conor Philbin gave the Flames a 3-2 lead after he recorded a bases loaded walk that plated Lee.
Bohanek gave UIC its fourth and final score in the seventh frame off an RBI sac-fly that drove in redshirt freshman Gabe Dwyer.
Milwaukee threatened in the bottom of the ninth inning and cut the lead to 4-3, but Hinchley struck out the final batter with the tying run on second base.