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Baseball upsets Texas A&M in opener

Sophomore Tomas Michelson led UIC to a win at Texas A&M Friday. Photo: Steve Woltmann

The baseball team kicked off its 2013 season with an upset win at No. 24 Texas A&M Friday, 2-0, at Blue Bell Park.

The win is the Flames’ first victory over a nationally ranked team since 2010, when UIC defeated No. 23 Western Kentucky.

Sophomore pitcher Tomas Michelson picked up the win by lasting 7.2 innings, allowing four hits and fanning five Aggie batters.

“I couldn’t be any more proud of our guys,” head coach Mike Dee said. “It was a hard-fought game and the players were relaxed and remained confident.  Our pitching was absolutely outstanding.

“We told all three guys to go out there and just be themselves and that’s exactly what they did.”

Michelson was named the Horizon League’s Pitcher of the Week after the game at Texas A&M.

“Tomas went out there and did what he was capable of doing,” Dee said.  “It wasn’t surprising to us because we know how talented he is.”

The Flames posted their two runs in the top of the third inning as senior Joe Betcher began the frame with a single to right field. Junior Alex Jurich bumped Betcher over to second base with a sacrifice bunt on the next at-bat. After Betcher advanced to third on a passed ball, junior John Coen joined him on base on a hit-by-pitch.

Redshirt senior Alex De LaRosa recorded the first RBI with a single to left center, sending Coen to second. The next batter, Ryan Shober, reached base off an error by the Aggie third baseman, which sent Coen across home plate for the second and final run of the evening.

Texas A&M gave UIC a scare in the eighth inning as Jonathan Moroney started the frame with a double down the right field line. After Michelson struck out the Aggie pinch hitter, freshman Ian Lewandowski was brought in for relief.  In his collegiate debut, Lewandowski retired the next two batters in the eighth and the first two batters in the ninth.

Sophomore Alex Posey was called in for the final out of the game as he made A&M’s Troy Stein pop out to center field.  The game was Posey’s UIC debut after transferring from Rend Lake Community College.

De LaRosa paced UIC at the plate, going 2-for-4 and notching the team’s lone RBI.  Betcher, Jurich, sophomore Tyler Detmer and redshirt senior Harry Kammholz also recorded hits.

The Flames return to the field Friday for a three-game series at Santa Clara, with a double-header Saturday.

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