MEQUON, Wis. – The Illinois Tech baseball team kicked off Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference (NACC) Tournament play on Thursday morning, as the sixth-seeded Scarlet Hawks (18-22) took on the third-seeded Stars of Dominican University (20-18). In a back-and-forth contest, the Scarlet Hawks were defeated 6-5 in large part due to three home runs by Dominican catcher Mike Buckley.
- Tech: 5 runs, 8 hits, 2 errors
- Dominican: 6 runs, 8 hits, 0 errors
How it Happened
- After two perfect half-innings in the first, it was the Scarlet Hawks who jumped on the scoreboard in the top of the second. After a one-out triple by second baseman Brandon Bennitt, left fielder Jacob Sorenson singled him home with two outs.
- In the bottom of the second, Tech starter Ian Duke worked out of a bases-loaded jam by recording one of this three strikeouts in the frame, holding the Stars scoreless.
- Dominican finally plated two runs in the fourth to take a lead, but Tech was quick to respond. First baseman Ted Howell led off the top of the fifth with a solo homer. Later in the inning, right fielder Michael Courtney doubled home Sorenson, who walked earlier, to put Tech up 3-2.
- Howell was at it again in the sixth, this time singling home Bennitt, who singled and stole second in the inning as well.
- However, the Stars were ready to answer, scoring two in the sixth and one in the seventh to pull ahead 5-4. Mike Buckley for the Stars hit a two-run shot in the sixth, his second of the game.
- In the top of the eighth, an Orlando Cardenas-Juan leadoff walk set the scene for shortstop Nick Bledsoe, who tripled him home to tie the score at 5-5 again.
- It was Buckley again for the Stars who delivered in the clutch, hitting a solo homer to left field in the bottom of the eighth to take a 6-5 lead. The Stars were able to retire the Hawks in order in the ninth for the win.
Scarlet Hawk Standouts
- Howell and Bennitt had the multi-hit games for the Hawks, with Howell hitting a home run and driving in two as well.
- Ian Duke gave Tech six innings of solid work, allowing four runs and striking out four.
- Sorenson, Courtney, and Bledsoe all drove in runs.
- The Scarlet Hawks will play tomorrow morning at 10:00 a.m. against the loser of today's game between #4 Concordia-Wisconsin and #5 Marian in an elimination game. A win would mean the Scarlet Hawks would play again at 4:00 p.m. in another elimination game.