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Baseball Holds Off Augsburg for First Win

Matt Witkowski tallied three hits and earned the save on Saturday
Matt Witkowski tallied three hits and earned the save on Saturday

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.

Up Next

  • 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.