Baseball rallies to beat defending champions

Joey Begel winds up a pitch. Photo: Steve Woltmann

The baseball team (15-14, 5-4) won the series against defending Horizon League champions Valparaiso, 2-1, this weekend after a 4-3 victory Sunday at Emory G. Bauer Field.

Freshman pitcher Ian Lewandowski improved his season record to 3-1 as he tossed seven innings and limited Valpo to eight hits and two earned runs.

Sophomore Tyler Detmer paced UIC at the plate, going 3-for-5, and senior Joe Betcher was 2-for-4.

UIC is tied for second in the conference standings with Youngstown State.

“We are very pleased to have won a road series against the defending league champs,” head coach Mike Dee said.

UIC posted the game’s first run in the top of the second as redshirt junior Ryan Boss hit a single to centerfield. Betcher followed with an infield single that sent Boss to second base. Boss scored on a RBI-single to left center, compliments of redshirt senior Ryan Shober.

After Betcher tacked on another run in the fourth off a bases-loaded wild pitch, the Crusaders tallied their first score in the bottom half of the fourth, cutting the Flames’ lead to 2-1.

UIC responded with two runs in the fifth as Andres Ortegano and Detmer knocked back-to-back doubles.  Detmer has eight doubles on the season and a team-leading .327 batting average. With Ortegano already across home plate, Detmer advanced home on a fielder’s choice by Boss, extending UIC’s advantage to 4-1.

The Flames withstood a late rally from the Crusaders, as Valpo recorded two runs in the bottom of the eighth.  Freshman hurler Jack Andersen held on for his second save of the season, giving up just two hits in two innings.

The Flames host Chicago State at 7:05 p.m. tonight at Les Miller Field. They face Wright State in a three-game series at home, with games set for 6:05 p.m. Friday, 2:05 p.m. Saturday and 1:05 p.m. Sunday.

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