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Baseball Sweeps Rescheduled Double Header Against Concordia Chicago

Photo of Sam Sproule by Norman Cohen.
Photo of Sam Sproule by Norman Cohen.

by Eric Willuweit

Chicago, Ill. - It took a few days to happen, but the Illinois Tech home baseball double header against Concordia Chicago finally took place Wednesday afternoon at Ed Glancy Field, and when the infield dust settled the Scarlet Hawks completed a sweep against the Cougars. The Scarlet Hawks won game one 4-2 in come from behind fashion, and won the nightcap 7-3 in a game shortened to five innings due to darkness. The Scarlet Hawks and Cougars were originally scheduled to play this past Sunday, but weather conditions postponed the games, and the rescheduled games moved multiple times until Wednesday's games were finally locked in. With the double header sweep, the Scarlet Hawks improved to 7-5 in NACC play and 14-13 overall. The Cougars fell to 5-7 in conference and 13-14 overall.

Game one was a tight pitcher's dual, with Concordia Chicago scoring individual runs in the first and second inning, the Scarlet Hawks scoring a solo run in the bottom of the third, and the score remaining 2-1 Cougars into the bottom of the eighth inning. The Scarlet Hawks broke through with three runs in the bottom of the eighth inning and held on for the 4-2 victory. Matthew Jackson had the game-tying hit with an RBI double, and Samuel Sproule and Michael Paxson each hit sacrifice flies to complete the three-run eighth. Zac Lis earned the victory with two innings of scoreless, hitless relief. Alejandro Garcia pitched the final inning to earn his second save. Cameron Bracewell had a strong outing, going six innings, allowing 2 runs (1 earned), scattering seven hits while striking out four batters. Brandon Bennitt went three for four with an RBI and a run scored.

While the Scarlet Hawks had to come from behind in game one, game two saw the team jump out to a 6-0 lead in the first inning. The Cougars chipped away at the Hawks lead with two runs in the third inning and a solo run in the fourth inning, to cut their deficit to 6-3. The Scarlet Hawks tacked on an insurance run in the bottom of the fifth inning. After the Cougars leadoff hitter singled in the top of the sixth inning, the umpires conferred with the coaches and advised the game could not continue due to darkness from the overcast sky. Since the game went five innings it was recorded as an official game, with the score after five innings standing as final, 7-3. Tyler Gutsfeld, Sproule and Peyton Vieluf each went two for three in the game. Bennitt drove in two runs with a run scored. Joseph Belflower went the full five innings for the win (1-0), allowing three runs, five hits while striking out four batters.

"Today was a fun day to play baseball" said Head Coach Ed Zeifert. "CUC is an incredibly strong team and we played two very good games. Bracewell and Belflower have been super competitive and consistent for us all year. It is fun watching them grow and our team picking them up when they need it" said Zeifert.

Zeifert has also been impressed with the overall team's growth this season.

"That has simply been the best part of the year so far - we have grown" continued Zeifert. "The older guys have grown in confidence and maturity and the younger guys have learned and grown alongside them" said Zeifert.

Up Next

The Scarlet Hawks will head to Milwaukee on Saturday for a conference double header against MSOE, with game one starting at 12:00 PM CT. Then the team returns to Ed Glancy Field on Sunday for another conference double header when they host Dominican University, starting at 12:00 PM CT. "I'm looking forward to this weekend. MSOE and Dominican are having great years so we will have to be ready" concluded Zeifert.