Oakland slips in league tourney shootout against UIC, loses 10-9, season over

It was do or die for No. 5 Oakland (23-27, 11-14) in the Horizon League Baseball Championship on Wednesday, May 25, but the Golden Grizzlies lost 10-9 to No. 4 University of Illinois at Chicago in a wild and high-scoring game in the first round of the Horizon League Baseball Championship.

“We thought we could come in here and win it,” head coach John Musachio said in the post-game GrizzVision interview with Dan Gliot. “We fell short of that goal and it doesn’t taste good.”

Oakland started off strong in the first inning when Mike Brosseau hit an RBI double down the leftfield line that would score Zach Sterry. The scoring continued when Ian Yetsko hit an RBI single that scored Brosseau.

UIC responded in the second and tied up the game, 2-2.

Sterry got the offense moving again in the third when he singled to second base to start off the inning. Tyler Pagano followed suit with a single to center field.

With runners on second and third (they advanced after Yetsko grounded out) Ben Hart hit a two-run single. Oakland led 4-3 after three innings.

UIC scored one in the bottom of the third.

Oakland scored two more runs in the top of the fourth. Sterry scored one after getting the ball to center field. Then Ryan Fitzgerald scored on a wild pitch.

The Golden Grizzlies defense broke down and had four errors in the bottom of the fourth. With bases loaded, Jake Lee threw a wild pitch that scored a runner, and two subsequent errors cleared the bases and allowed three UIC runs on one play (which ended up on Deadspin).

UIC led 9-6 after four innings.

Oakland came back in the sixth and tied the game after Sterry hit a three-run home run to left field.

With the game tied in the bottom of the eighth, UIC singled to center field and took the lead. UIC led 10-9 after eight.

Hart gave Oakland one more chance in the ninth but the team didn’t convert and was eliminated from the Horizon League Baseball Championship.

Sterry went 4-for-4, hit one home run, got four RBIs and scored three runs.

Ben Hart went 2-for-4 and had two RBIs.

Brosseau and Yetsko each had one RBI.

“I just want to pay tribute to our seniors, 11 young men who really sacrificed a lot,” Musachio said. “I’m proud of ‘em. Proud as hell. And disappointed as hell at the same time.”

Oakland ended their season 23-27 overall and 11-14 in conference play.