TUCSON, Ariz. – The Illinois Tech baseball team won its first game of 2017 on Saturday evening. The Scarlet Hawks held off a late Augsburg rally, winning 6-5 in the first game of Tech's eight-game trip in the Grand Canyon State.
- Tech: 6 runs, 11 hits, 3 errors
- Augsburg: 5 runs, 9 hits, 4 errors
How it Happened
- A fast start propelled the Scarlet Hawks to an early advantage. DJ Rybski led off the contest with a double and later scored on an error after Tyler Tucker sacrificed him to third base.
- Augsburg would not get to Tech starter James Tarala much Saturday evening, but the team managed to plate a run in the third to tie the score. Two singles in the inning (including one with two outs) and an error led to the 1-1 tie through three frames.
- After a 1-2-3 top of the fourth, Augsburg scored on a groundout after a leadoff triple to take a 2-1 advantage.
- However, the Augsburg lead would be short-lived. The Scarlet Hawks led off the fifth with a Christian Lopez single. After two fly outs, a Matt Witkowski single followed by a two-RBI base knock by Rybski gave the Hawks the lead back.
- While Tarala cruised through the next four frames, the Scarlet Hawks added to the lead in the seventh and ninth innings. A Witkowski single as a part of a three-hit seventh extended Tech's lead to 4-2. In the ninth, Witkowski had another RBI single before Rybski drove in a run on a sacrifice fly.
- With the Scarlet Hawks up 6-2 heading into the bottom of the ninth, Augsburg began to make some noise. With two outs and a man on second, Tarala allowed an RBI single, a wild pitch, and a hit by pitch (his second of the frame), ending his bid for a complete game. Witkowski came in for the save, allowing an RBI single to cut the lead to 6-4. The next batter reached on an error, but a relay from Lopez to Ted Howell to Johnathon Wilcox threw out the tying run at home plate to end the contest.
Scarlet Hawk Standouts
- Tarala was outstanding, earning his first win of the season with a line of 8.2 innings pitch, eight hits, five runs (three earned), two walks, and eight strikeouts.
- Witkowski was 3-for-4 with two RBI and earned the save on the mound.
- Shifting to the leadoff spot, Rybski was 2-for-4 with a double, sacrifice fly, and three RBI.
- Lopez (3-for-4) and Kyle Bumpass (2-for-4) had multi-hit days. Bumpass also scored twice.
Stats to Know
- The "pitcher's best friend" had a big impact on the ballgame, as each team hit into two double plays.
- The game's nine combined errors led to five of the contest's 11 runs being unearned.
- The Scarlet Hawks did a great job of manufacturing runs, utilizing the sacrifice (one bunt, one fly) to aid them in plating two tallies.
- Tech struck out just four times on the evening compared to eight strikeouts for Augsburg.
- The Scarlet Hawks continue the trip in Tucson with a doubleheader on Sunday against Concordia University Wisconsin. Tech will take on the Falcons at 6:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m. (central time) at Kino Sports Complex's Field #4. Live stats will be available during CUW.