Baseball beats champs in home opener

Alex Grunenwald

Alex Grunenwald led UIC to a 9-2 win against Purdue Friday. Photo: Steve Woltmann

The baseball team (4-6) downed reigning Big Ten Champion Purdue (3-9) Friday, 9-2, in its home opener at Les Miller Field.

The Flames totaled 13 hits, led by seniors Alex Grunenwald and Alex De LaRosa, who combined for seven hits and six RBI.

Sophomore Tomas Michelson was credited with the win after lasting seven innings, allowing seven hits and zero earned runs.  He struck out a career-high six batters and recorded zero walks.

“We played with great energy and great focus,” head coach Mike Dee said. “Tomas came out and gave us six scoreless innings and a lot of confidence.  We were solid at the plate and we’re becoming more consistent.”

The Flames lit up the scoreboard first in the bottom of the second with a bases-loaded walk that sent Grunenwald across home plate. UIC added another run in the third as Grunenwald hit an RBI-single to center field that scored De LaRosa.

The Flames had three runs on three hits in the fourth frame, giving UIC a 5-0 edge.

The Boilermakers took two runs back in the sixth inning, chopping the Flames’ lead down to 5-2.

UIC’s bats were popping in the bottom of the sixth as they posted four runs and five hits with all nine Flames batters making an appearance at the plate.

Mike McKinley and Mike Schoolcraft came in for the eighth and ninth innings, respectively, for UIC on the mound and didn’t allow a single hit.

The Flames fell, 17-10, Saturday in the second game against Purdue. Sunday’s game was canceled because of weather.

The Flames take on Roosevelt at 4:05 p.m. today at Les Miller Field. They face Youngstown State in a three-game series at home that starts at 4:05 p.m. Friday. Other games are scheduled for 1:05 p.m. Saturday and 12:05 p.m. Sunday at Les Miller Field.

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