Baseball falls to UIC Flames in road match

By Brian Earle

In a high-scoring affair, baseball found itself on the short end of the stick, falling to UIC 10-9 Tuesday night on the road.

Both teams got the bats out as the Huskies recorded 12 hits while the Flames came away with 11 hits.

The Huskies jumped out to a quick start when center fielder Jason Gasser hit a two-run home run to right center, driving in catcher Joe Battaglia from first base. It was Gasser’s first career home run.

First baseman Alex Klonowski got in on the action in the top of the fourth inning when he hit a solo blast to left center for his second home run of the season. Designated hitter Wes Sery followed the home run with a single to left field and made it to second on a stolen base.

With Sery on second base, Gasser hit a grounder to UIC second baseman Alex Lee, who couldn’t make the play, allowing Sery to score from second base, giving the Huskies a 4-0 lead.

The Flames answered for two runs of their own in the bottom half of the frame. With runners on the corners and one out, catcher Alex Jurich singled through the right side driving in third baseman Mickey McDonald. On the play, first baseman Jeff Boehm was thrown out trying to advance to third base from first base, allowing Jurich to move up to second base. Pitcher Andrew Frankenreider threw two wild pitches allowing Jurich to reach third base and eventually score.

The Huskies went back to work in the top half of the fifth inning as they pushed four runs across. With runners on second base and third base, Klonowski delivered again with a two-RBI single, driving in second baseman Justin Fletcher from third base and left fielder Landon Tenhagen from second base.

On the very next batter, coach Ed Mathey had Chris Divarco pinch-hit for Sery, which paid dividends for the Huskies as Divarco hit a two-run blast to left center, putting the Huskies up 8-2.

The Huskies were in control of the game until the Flames came to bat in the bottom of the sixth inning when they took a 9-8 lead by scoring seven runs in the inning.

There was little the Huskies could do as the Flames recorded five hits, including three doubles. The Flames had two back-to-back two-runs doubles coming from right fielder Conor Philbin and center fielder Jake Nath. The Flames also capitalized on an error by the Huskies, resulting in one unearned run.

After the Flames added one more run in the bottom of the seventh inning to take a 10-8 lead, the Huskies put a rally together in the top of the eighth inning.

Divarco led the inning off with a single to third base and was replaced by pinch runner Alex Smith. After Gasser walked, Brian Sisler singled to load the bases with one out.

Right fielder Tommy Hook grounded into a fielder’s choice allowing Smith to score from third, cutting the Flames’ lead to one run. The Huskies rally fell short however as Fletcher flew out to flew out to right field and the Huskies failed to get anything going in the top of the ninth inning.