The Wright State baseball team scored three times over the final four innings and then held off a UIC rally in the ninth to defeat the Flames 5-4 in a Horizon League Tournament elimination game Friday night in Niles, Ohio.
The Raiders needed just four batters to score twice in the first. Sam Picchiotti led off with a hit to center and after Michael Timm doubled to left center, Garrett Gray singled to center to drive in Picchiotti and Timm scored on a Kieston Greene sacrifice fly to right.
UIC, though, answered with a run in the bottom of the first on a Ryan Boss RBI single and went up 3-2 in the fourth as John Coen tripled in Alex Grunenwald and Joe Betcher.
WSU tied it with a run in the sixth as Picchiotti singled to center, advanced to third on a wild pitch and a Gray bunt and scored as Greene struck out and was thrown out at first on the play.
Wright State then went in front for good with a run in the eighth, a rally that started after the first two batters were retired. Gray doubled down the left field line and Greene followed with another double to right center.
The Raiders added a key insurance run in the ninth as John Brodner reached on an infield hit along the first base line, went to second on a Mark Fowler bunt and came in on a Justin Kopale single through the right side.
The Flames closed to within one with a two-out run in the bottom of the ninth before Travis Hissong retired Alex Jurich on a grounder to second to end the game.
Hissong (4-1) picked up the win in relief as the sophomore righty struck out eight in four innings of work, allowing just one run, three hits and a walk.
Offensively, Picchiotti had three hits and scored twice, Gray was a perfect three-for-three with a RBI and a run scored and Greene drove in two.
Wright State (24-29) now faces the loser of the winner's bracket final between Milwaukee and Valparaiso Saturday at 3 pm. The winner of that game advances to the championship against the Milwaukee/Valparaiso winner Sunday starting at 11 am.