Baseball puts a stop to Western comeback

Ryan Boss

Ryan Boss jumps to catch the ball in a weekend win against Western Illinois. Photo: Steve Woltmann

Sophomore Tyler Detmer drove in the game-winning run in the bottom of the ninth inning with a single down the left-field line as the baseball team (13-11) completed a sweep against Western Illinois (6-17) Sunday, 6-5.

The Flames beat the Leathernecks, 3-2, Friday and 2-0 Saturday.

On Sunday, the Leathernecks mounted an impressive comeback in the top of the ninth, scoring four runs to knot the tally, 5-5.  Redshirt senior Alex Grunenwald was responsible for four UIC runs with a grand slam in the third inning.

“This was a great series for us,” head coach Mike Dee said.  “Anytime you win three games in a weekend, you’ve done a good job.  I am pleased with the progress we continue to make, but I don’t think we are playing our best baseball yet. There is still some room for improvement.”

The Flames displayed outstanding defense and pitching over the three-game set, holding the Leathernecks scoreless in 26 innings and allowing just seven runs.

After the Flames gave up a single score in the top of the third, Grunenwald countered with a four-RBI blow to center field that was about 420 feet in length.

UIC tacked on an additional run in the sixth as senior Joe Betcher recorded a ground-rule double that drove in junior Alex Jurich.

Jurich reached base on a walk and was pushed over to second on a Connor Philbin groundout.  Betcher paced UIC at the plate with three hits on three at-bats.

The Leathernecks had three walks and two hits to send four men across the dish in the ninth.

With score tied at 5-5 in the bottom of the ninth, redshirt senior Ryan Shober started things off with a single to left field.

That’s when Detmer’s hit scored Shober and sealed the Flames’ sixth straight victory.

The Flames head to Northwestern today, then Valparaiso for matches Friday through Sunday.

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