the home portion of the 2011 season on Saturday afternoon, splitting a Horizon
League doubleheader with UIC at Emory G. Bauer Field. The Crusaders won the opener 5-2 before the
Flames took the nightcap 5-0.
The Crusaders received
solid pitching performances all day, but were unable to get the bats going in
game two and had to settle for the split.
In the opener,
starter Justin Frane (Huntertown,
Ind./Carroll H.S.) found himself in a bases loaded jam in the opening inning
before pitching out of it to keep the game scoreless. Valpo then took advantage of four straight
hits in the second. With one out Bobby Martin (Crystal Lake,
Ill./Prairie Ridge H.S.) and Corey
Thibault (Tustin, Calif./Foothill H.S.) had back-to-back singles to left. Michael
Morman (Rockford, Ill./Boylan Catholic H.S.) drove home the first run with
a double to right and Andrew Bain
(Indianapolis, Ind./Park Tudor H.S.) followed with a two-run single to give the
Crusaders a 3-0 lead.
“Those first two
innings really set the tone for us in the opener,” head coach Tracy Woodson said. “We were then able to add a couple of runs
and matched one of theirs. We did what
we needed to in order to win.”
UIC scored its first
run in the fifth as Jason Ganek delivered a two-out RBI single. Frane then left with two outs and the bases
loaded and Steve Godawa (Buffalo
Grove, Ill./Buffalo Grove H.S.) came on to strike out Matt Serna to end the
threat. Frane departed having allowed
just one run and three hits while striking out five in 4.2 innings of work.
answered in the bottom of the inning as Kyle
Gaedele (Arlington Heights, Ill./Rolling Meadows H.S.) led off with a
single and stole second. After he moved
up 90 feet on a ground out, he scored on a wild pitch when Flame starter Matt
Heaslip was trying to intentionally walk Ryan
O’Gara (Buffalo Grove, Ill./Buffalo Grove H.S.).
Valpo added its fifth
run in the seventh. Chris Manning (Lake Forest, Calif./El Toro H.S.) led off with a walk
and was sacrificed to second. After a
wild pitch moved him to third, he scored on a sacrifice fly by O’Gara.
The Flames added
their final run in the eighth on a two-out double by Nick Addison. They were held in check by Godawa, who earned
his first win (1-0) of the season, pitching 3.1 innings of relief, surrendering
just the one run and three hits. He also
struck out five.
Karch Kowalczyk (Peru, Ill./La Salle-Peru H.S.) came on to pitch a scoreless
ninth to earn his first collegiate save.
Martin and Gaedele each had two of Valpo’s
eight hits in the game, all off of the starter Heaslip, who worked six innings
allowing four runs, while suffering the loss (2-2). He also walked five, with Manning drawing
four walks in the game.
Ganek and Jon Ryan
were the only two Flames with a multi-hit effort.
In game two, UIC’s
Matt Salemi gave up just three hits and four walks in a complete game shutout
“We came out flat in
game two,” Woodson said. “I thought we
laid back a bit after winning game one.”
Robbie Robinson (Brea, Calif./Olinda H.S.) had two of the
three hits for the Crusaders, a two-out single in the fourth and a one-out hit
in the seventh, only to be doubled up one batter later. Valpo’s only threat in the night cap came in
the second, loading the bases with one
out before hitting into a double play.
UIC got on the
scoreboard in the third as Jacob McNamara tripled to lead off and eventually
scored on the back end of a double steal.
A Harry Kammolz sacrifice fly one inning later made it 2-0 Flames.
Damon McCormick (Louisville, Ky./Saint Xavier H.S.) kept the
Crusaders in the game though, striking out 12 in seven innings of work. He walked just two and gave up four hits
while suffering the loss (1-5). However,
he committed a pair of errors in the seventh which led to two more unearned
runs, giving UIC a 4-0 advantage.
The Flames tacked on
its final run in the eighth, another unearned tally, while Salemi took control
on the mound. Valpo’s only other hit
besides Robinson’s two came from Morman in the eighth.
Serna was the only
UIC hitter with two hits in the nightcap, as the Flames tallied just six for
2-3 Horizon) and UIC (12-11, 4-1) will wrap up the three-game weekend series on
Sunday, making up Friday’s postponement.
First pitch is set for 11 a.m. at Emory G. Bauer Field.