Baseball falls 15-10 in UIC slugfest

James Krause

DeKALB — The baseball team fell in a slugfest Tuesday to the University of Illinois Chicago Flames, losing 15-10.

Flames senior outfielder Scott Ota knocked in 6 RBIs on 3-7 hitting, helping to put UIC over NIU. In total, the Flames reached base on 23 hits and five walks.

Head Coach Mike Kunigonis said NIU was capable of even more from the plate today but couldn’t put it all together.

“We battled with them, but it wasn’t our best day on the mound,” Kunigonis said, according to an NIU Athletics news release Tuesday. “A couple other timely hits, and we score more than 10 runs.”

The Huskies pulled ahead in the bottom of the first with four runs, started by an RBI double from junior infielder Dylan Lonteen.

Two more runs were scored on bases loaded walks, while sophomore infielder Alex Rodriguez scored the final run of the inning on a double play. The Huskies led 4-1 after one.

The Flames answered by tying the game in the second with an RBI from senior outfielder Derrick Parker and 2 Ota RBIs.

In the bottom of the third, the Huskies took the lead back with an RBI from junior first baseman Jordan Larson. Rodriguez gained an RBI single to make the score 6-4 NIU after three innings.

Related: Huskies sweep Ohio for first time since 2007

UIC tied it up again in the following inning, with RBIs from Ota and first-year catcher Ryan Hampe to make the game even at 6 in the middle of the fourth.

Lonteen and Larson each grabbed an RBI in the bottom of the inning to take an 8-6 lead as the back-and-forth game continued.

After 14 combined runs in the first four frames, both teams went scoreless in the fifth and sixth innings before UIC’s bats came back to life.

UIC sophomore catcher Joshua Figueroa smacked an RBI single to make it a one-run game before Parker hit a 2-RBI single to give the Flames the 9-8 lead.

Hampe grounded out to put UIC up 10-8 heading into the seventh inning stretch. Junior pitcher Tristan Michaels gave up three runs in the inning without recording an out, eventually being saddled with the loss.

After scoring one run off a balk, the Flames extended the lead further in the eighth with a 3-RBI triple from Ota to make it 14-8.

NIU would score two in the bottom of the eighth and give up one more in the ninth for the final score of 15-10.

The Huskie loss is the second this season when scoring 10 runs after previouly falling to CMU 14-10 March 30.

NIU’s record falls to 10-22 overall. After its Wednesday matchup against Robert Morris was cancelled, the Huskies’ attention now turns to a three-game road series with Western Michigan.

The series opener is set for 2:05 p.m. Friday in Kalamazoo, Michigan.