Oakland baseball swept by UIC Flames

The Oakland University baseball team was swept by the University of Illinois – Chicago (UIC) Flames last weekend at the Oakland Baseball Field. 

Friday’s game began as a pitcher’s duel. There was no score after three innings.

The scoring started in the fourth when UIC scored a couple. A runner scored on a wild pitch, then Joshua Figueroa hit an RBI double. UIC would add a Thomas Smart two-run double to go up 4-0.

On the mound, no one was hitting UIC starter Jacob Key. He gave up two hits in the first inning — and that was it, until in the sixth inning, Michael Stygles doubled to left to score Tyler Trovinger and make it a 4-1 game.

UIC answered in the seventh. Cole Conn hit a two-run single off Dan Rutan to make it 6-1. In the bottom of the eighth, Gabe Lux scored on a wild pitch to make it 6-2, but UIC would add two more in the ninth and take game one, 8-2.

“We didn’t do anything very well honestly,” Head Coach Jordon Banfield said after Friday’s game. “We didn’t throw strikes, we misplayed a big ball in the outfield and we didn’t trust the scouting report on offense. We went up there and swung early a lot, and got beat by a team that did all the things that we didn’t: throw strikes, make big pitches in big spots, make every play on defense, including some plus plays and execute with men on base at the plate. So that’s where we need to get.”

Saturday’s doubleheader did not go well for the Golden Grizzlies right from the start, as they were down 7-0 in the second inning. The team tried to stay in the game with three runs in the fifth and a two-run shot from Stygles in the seventh, but it wasn’t enough — UIC took game one, 11-6.

Game two of the Saturday doubleheader was more of the same. The Grizzlies fell behind 4-0 in the third and UIC never looked back. UIC kept pouring it on, taking a 13-1 lead into the eighth inning before the game was postponed due to darkness. The Flames would go on to win the next day 15-2.

In the series finale on Sunday, the Grizzlies and Flames were once again locked in a pitcher’s duel. The score was locked at one apiece when Seth Tucker scored on an errant throw from UIC’s catcher to put the Grizzlies in front.

They held that lead until the ninth inning. Bryce Konitzer was cruising, but it all fell apart. UIC put up a four-spot to take a 5-2 lead. Oakland couldn’t respond, and as a result, UIC swept the series.

The Golden Grizzlies’ next series is against the Milwaukee Panthers, and it begins Thursday, April 1 at 2 p.m. at the Oakland Baseball Field.