Baseball team takes series against Milwaukee

Jacob McNamara

Senior Jacob McNamara improved his team-leading batting average to .429 after Sunday’s doubleheader. Photo: Steve Woltmann

The baseball team (8-13, 4-5) earned its second straight Horizon League series win as the Flames split with preseason favorite Milwaukee (5-12, 1-2) in doubleheader action Sunday afternoon at Granderson Stadium.

UIC dropped game one by a final of 10-8 in the 11th inning, then claimed victory in the finale, 10-4. The Flames have now won four of the past five conference games.

The Flames host Purdue at 6:05 p.m. today.

“I am really proud of our guys for winning back-to-back weekends against very talented ball clubs,” head coach Mike Dee said.

“They showed tremendous resiliency after dropping the first game today.  I am very encouraged by what I am seeing and I think we have a chance to be very good when we get late into the season.”

Senior Jacob McNamara improved his team-leading batting average to .429 after going 6-for-11 in both games on Sunday and finished the weekend with a .600 clip (9-for-15).  Senior Alex Jurich went 4-for-6 today with a double and his third home run of the season during game two.  He increased his season batting average to. 329 and now paces UIC with 19 RBI on the year.

“We’ve been pretty consistent on offense all year,” Dee said.  “We played some different guys in the second game today and that consistency was still there.”

UIC plated the day’s first run in the opening frame of the first game as McNamara kicked things off with a double to left-center field. He was advanced to third off a sac bunt by John Coen and then sent home off an RBI-single by Tyler Detmer to give the Flames an early 1-0 lead.

UWM answered with a lone run in bottom of the first to knot the score and then two more in the second to take a 3-1 advantage. The Flames came back in the third with another solo score as Coen sent Cody Bohanek across the dish with an RBI-single up the middle.

In the bottom of the third, Milwaukee took advantage of an error by UIC’s shortstop as UWM plated three unearned runs to extend its lead out to 6-2.

The Flames regrouped and responded with four runs in the fourth inning to once again tie the tally at 6-6. Conor Philbin recorded the first RBI with a double that scored Alex Lee, his fourth two-baser of the season. Bohanek plated the next two runs with a double of his own to left-center field, then breezed home from third off a passed ball by the UWM catcher.

UIC took the lead in the fifth frame with a lone run and extended that edge out to 8-6 with another score in the sixth inning.

UWM forced extra innings as they plated two runs in the ninth and after a three-run walk-off homer by Milwaukee’s Ryan Solberg, the Panthers escaped game one with a 10-8 win.

Freshman Mitchell Schulewitz was given the loss after giving up four earned runs over 3.2 frames. Schulewitz came in for starter Ian Lewandowski, who allowed three earned runs and eight hits in seven innings of work.

Sophomore pitcher Jack Andersen was superb in game two as he held UWM scoreless over eight innings and gave up a mere four hits.  He also allowed no walks and improved his season record to 1-2 after being credited with the win.

The Flames jumped out to a quick 1-0 lead with a lone run in the first inning after McNamara was driven home off a sac-bunt by Lee. UIC made it 3-0 after two frames when Coen ripped an RBI-double to centerfield that scored McNamara and Kolakowski. Jurich’s homer was a solo blast in the third inning that extended UIC’s advantage to 4-0.

The 4-0 score held true through the middle innings until the Flames plated two in the seventh and then four more in the eighth to take a commanding 10-0 lead. Three runs in the eighth frame are credited to a three-RBI triple by junior Jeff Boehm, his first of the season. The Kentucky transfer now owns a team-leading slugging percentage of .532.

Milwaukee sparked a minor rally in the bottom of the ninth by scoring four runs, including a three-RBI home run by Solberg, his second on the day. The deficit was too large to overcome for the Panthers as the Flames walked away with the six-run victory.

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