Baseball preps for tie-breaking game
With their victory Sunday, the Flames moved into a tie for second place in the Horizon League. But the tie will be broken Friday when UIC faces Valparaiso as they battle it out to see whose 7-4 record improves.
The Flames host a doubleheader against Valparaiso beginning at 12:05 p.m. Friday at Granderson Stadium.
Their last game, which began as a pitcher’s duel through six innings Sunday, turned into an exciting come-from-behind 6-5 win for the Flames versus Milwaukee.
It was the second straight victory for UIC (15-19, 7-4 HL) over Milwaukee (14-16, 6-4 HL).
The Flames lost the opener Friday versus Milwaukee, 7-0, then won the second game, 10-3, before clinching the series in the finale at Granderson Stadium.
UIC starter Ian Lewandowski and Milwaukee pitcher Adam Reuss went pitch-for-pitch for six innings. Lewandowski carried a perfect game through 3.2 innings, retiring 11 straight and 12 of the first 13 batters he faced. The Flames right-hander allowed two runs (one earned) on three hits while striking out six in six innings. Reuss retired seven in a row and did not allow a hit until the fifth before leaving in the eighth inning.
Milwaukee put up three runs on UIC reliever Trevor Lane (three earned runs/three innings pitched) to take a 5-1 advantage after seven innings. In the eighth, Derrick Patrick started the UIC rally with a one-out single and advanced to second on a single by David Cronin. Milwaukee brought in pitcher Jake Tuttle to relieve Reuss and freshman Scott Ota greeted him with a walk to load the bases for Ricardo Ramirez. Ramirez collected an RBI on a sacrifice fly, scoring Patrick to cut the deficit to 5-2.
With two out, Conor Philbin walked to load the bases again with Brandon Gibis stepping up to the plate. Gibis was hit by the first pitch, which forced Cronin home. Alex Dee laced an infield single off the pitcher’s leg, scoring Ota from third base as the Flames trailed by just one run, 5-4.
After another Milwaukee pitching change, Rob Calabrese looped a two-run single to right field, scoring Philbin and Gibis to give UIC a 6-5 lead.
UIC sent 10 men to the plate to score five times in the inning, including four runs after there were two outs.
Trevor Lane returned to the mound for the final inning and closed the door on Milwaukee by getting Luke Meeter to line into a game-ending double play for his third victory of the year.