Illinois Institute of Technology and Gustavus Adolphus College passed the lead back and forth four times on Friday at Kino Sports Complex in Tucson, AZ, but in the end the Scarlet Hawks ended their annual spring trip with the 7-6 win in seven innings over Gustavus Adolphus College.
The bottom of the first saw Illinois Institute of Technology take an early lead, 1-0. Austin Boos (SO/Indianapolis, IN) kicked things off for Illinois Institute of Technology with a single. A single by Darwin Argumendo then moved Austin from first to third. Brian Colon-Rodriguez (SO/Carolina, PR) singled, scoring Austin. Centerfielder Ryan Fitzpatrick (JR/Chicago, IL) racked up three RBIs on a bases clearing triple in the fourth inning.
Tech finally managed to grab the lead in the bottom of the last inning. A walk-off-win as baseball players call it. Austin Boos led off the rally with a line drive double that cleared the GAC centerfielder. That was followed by an almost identical double off the bat of Michael Malfeo (JR/Orland Park, IL) over the centerfielder for the RBI. Catcher Darwin Argumedo (JR/Cartagena, Colombia) then grounded out to the third basemen for the first out. As Sam Pung (SO/Ludington, MI) stepped to the plate, he had been 0-3 in the game till that point with a catchers interference, a 6-4-3 ground out double play and a second ground out to the shortstop. This is like Coach Marks likes to say "It only takes one." "You just have to clear your head and play the game forward not dwelling on any mistakes or failure in the past, baseball is a game of failure and great players can get succeed with the pressure cranked up." So ont eh Pung single IIT scored the final go ahead winning run on an RBI single off Justin Cunningham, plating Michael Malfeo from second base.
Michael Malfeo (1-1) got the win in relief for Illinois Institute of Technology. Malfeo "vultured" the win after blowing the save opportunity in the top half of the seventh. It is refered as a vulture win because someone else was in line for the win but by blowing the save and then the offense taking the lead back Malfeo in a scavenger type way stole a win away from fellow staff mate James Tarala (FR/Crown Point, IN). Tarala went 4.0+ innings allowing four runs (all earned) on five strikeouts to four walks. Next up from the pen was freshmen teammate Cory Winiecki (FR/Des Plaines, IL) who lasted 0.2 innings allowing one hit and two walks. Then Elliot Chibe (FR/Palos Park, IL)'s name was called from the pen for 1.1 innings allowing just one base runner. Malfeo pitched one inning and allowed two runs on two hits with one walk and one strikeout.
The three headed Freshmen pitching beast showed some great and exciting thing for the future of Illinois Tech baseball. All true Freshmen James Tarala, Elliot Chibe and Cory Winiecki make up what coach Scott Marks deemed them 3-headed monster. "They all throw a little different from traditional ways, which is a great thing for us and a tough thing for opposing hitters." The three combined for 10 appearances on the spring trip and account for the heart of or pitching staff. "We are very excited to see how they grow and develop."
Illinois Tech wraps up the annual spring trip with a 3-5 record which is two wins better than a season ago and have a lot of things to be happy about and to continue to improve. Some very positive things were Austin Boos and Michael Malfeo both compiling .500+ batting averages and .700+ slugging percentages. As a team we had 19 extra base hits in just 8 games which shows to continue. And to add new comer Freshmen starting first basemen Adam Samad (FR/Alsip, IL) from Alan B. Shepard HS on Chicago's southside. Samad hit in the heart of the order the whole trip and for a Freshmen that is no small feat, he went 9-27 for a .333 average adding seven runs scored with one double, one triple and three runs driven in while fielding 1.000 on 41 chances.