Baseball team sweeps Valparaiso

Alex Jurich

Senior Alex Jurich leads the Horizon League with 39 RBI after Sunday’s game. Photo: Steve Woltmann

The baseball team (17-19, 12-9) picked up the series sweep against Valparaiso (15-22, 6-9) Sunday afternoon, winning game three by a final of 6-3 at Emory G. Bauer Field. 

The Flames beat Valpo, 5-2, Saturday and 10-1 in the series opener Friday.

The Flames are now in sole possession of second place in the Horizon League as Milwaukee lost to Youngstown State, 5-2, Sunday.

With two outs in the fifth inning, UIC plated three runs to permanently go in front of the Crusaders after facing a 2-1 deficit. Senior John Coen and redshirt sophomore Conor Philbin each had two hits on the day. Philbin recorded a game-high two RBI.

Senior pitcher Mike Schoolcraft was credited with his first win of the season as he came in for relief in the third inning and lasted 3.1 frames. Schoolcraft allowed no earned runs and struck out two batters in his 57th career appearance.

Freshman Mitchell Schulewitz tossed the final 3.1 innings and picked up his third save on the year (second consecutive), while fanning four Valpo batters.

The Crusaders jumped out in front with a lone score in the first inning after an error and a wild pitch by UIC allowed VU’s Spencer Mahoney to cross the dish for an unearned run.

UIC tied the count at 1-1 in the third frame as Cody Bohanek reached base on a double to left center and then was sent home off a triple by freshman Mickey McDonald. McDonald tallied a team-high six RBI over the three-game series, while going 6-of-15 (.400) from the plate.

After Valpo scored another single run in the bottom of the third inning, the Crusaders owned a 2-1 lead until the fifth stanza. That’s when UIC recorded a trio of runs to take a 4-2 advantage. The Flames scored on three consecutive batters, beginning with an RBI-single from redshirt junior Alex Lee.  Junior Jeff Boehm followed that up with his 12th double of the season that plated Lee and Boehm was eventually sent home off a single to center from senior Alex Jurich. Jurich improved his league-leading RBI count to 39 after Sunday’s contest.

The Crusaders scored once in the bottom of the sixth to pull within one run, but UIC responded with two scores in the eighth frame to ice the three-run triumph.

Philbin was responsible for both runs as he drilled a two-RBI triple down the right field line, his first career three-base hit.

The Flames head to Bradley today for a 7 p.m. game in Peoria. UIC hosts Milwaukee for a three-game series with games set for 6:05 p.m. Friday, 2:05 p.m. Saturday and 1:05 p.m. Sunday at Curtis Granderson Stadium.

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