The Wright State baseball team closed out the first round of Horizon League play Saturday on a strong note by taking two at UIC, winning the first game 6-4 and taking game two 11-6.
The opener was scoreless until the Raiders tacked on a run in the fourth as a Garrett Gray ground-run double drove in Michael Timm. WSU added another in the seventh on a solo home run by Jeff Limbaugh to left and extended the lead to 6-0 with four more in the eighth, an inning that included RBI singles by Kody Krizman, John Brodner and Justin Kopale.
Starter Joey Hoelzel (3-2) shutout the Flames through the first seven innings, allowing just two hits, before Andres Ortegano hit a three-run home run in the eighth. Hoelzel struck out six in 7.1 innings of work.
UIC added another run in the ninth on a Ryan Boss solo home run, but Travis Hissong held on for his fourth save of the season by retiring the final three batters of the game.
Gray and Kieston Greene each had three hits in the first game for the Raiders.
A Kopale single and a bases-loaded walk to Timm gave Wright State a 2-0 led in the second game and a Brodner home run to right center in the third made it 3-0.
WSU starter Cody Kopilchack allowed just one base runner to reach in the first three innings, but the fourth proved to be a different story as two hit by pitches, two walks, a wild pitch and a passed ball allowed UIC to score two runs without the benefit of a hit. The Flames then went up 5-2 as Boss connected on a three-run home run to right in the fifth.
It stayed that way until the Raiders exploded for six runs in the seventh to take the lead for good. With two outs and Kopale on third, Krizman singled in Kopale and after Gray had a hit and Brodner walked to load the bases, Limbaugh was hit by a pitch and two consecutive errors allowed four more runs to score.
UIC tallied an unearned run in the eighth, but WSU answered by scoring two insurance runs in the ninth on back-to-back home runs by Brodner and Limbaugh. It was Brodner's second homer of the game and third of the season while Limbaugh hit his second of the year and second of the doubleheader.
Trevor Swaney (3-0) pitched the final six innings in relief for the win. Offensively, Krizman had three hits while Brodner, Mark Fowler and Kopale had two.
Wright State (16-17, 6-6 Horizon) faces a pair of Atlantic 10 teams in midweek play, traveling to Xavier on Tuesday, April 16, at 3:00 before hosting Dayton on Wednesday, April 17, at 6:30.