Baseball Defeats Beloit in Tight Opener

The Illinois Tech Baseball team opened the 2018 schedule on a strong note, downing the Beloit College Buccaneers 4-3 on March 10 behind some timely hitting and strong pitching from James Tarala and Neal Shah.


  • Illinois Tech: four runs, seven hits, zero errors
  • Beloit: three runs, six hits, two errors

How it Happened

  • Tarala was strong to start the contest, striking out the side on the bottom of the first.
  • First baseman Ted Howell hit a ground rule double down the left field line to open the second inning. After a DJ Rybski walk and a nice sacrifice bunt by Enrique AcevedoPeter Upham hit a line drive three-run homer just under the left field scoreboard to give the Scarlet Hawks a 3-0 cushion.
  • Over the next four innings, Beloit starter Danny Belling settled in, allowing just one baserunner from the third through the sixth inning on a Michael Courtney walk. Belling was the beneficiary of some nice defensive plays behind him, including a diving catch on the warning track by Jalen Davis in center field, who robbed Howell of what was sure to be another extra-base hit.
  • The Buccanners worked to tie the contest by the end of the fourth inning. An 11-pitch at bat by leadoff man Brice Call worked a walk in the third, allowing Davis to single in a run in the following at bat. While Illinois Tech worked out of the third without any further damage thanks to a double play grounder to shortstop Orlando Cardenas-Juan, Beloit’s Joe McKay homered on a fly ball to left field with a man on first in the fourth inning to tie the score.
  • Much like Belling found his groove after some trouble, Tarala settled in after the fourth. He allowed just one baserunner on a walk between the fifth and seventh innings, striking out call on a 3-2 breaking ball to end the bottom of the seventh.
  • Illinois Tech rewarded Tarala for his great outing in the top of the eight by putting him in line for the win. After catcher Zachary Dickey led the inning off with a triple, his second extra-base hit of the day to right field, Howell manufactured a run with a groundball to shortstop to give Illinois Tech a 4-3 lead.
  • Shah entered the contest in the bottom of the eighth to close the game out. In the eighth, a one-out walk to Jeremy Dutton with one out was a potential problem, as he stole second and third on consecutive pitches. After left fielder Jacob Sorensen’s backup of third base on an overthrow on the steal, he then made a great throw in on a Terrence Cribbs flyout to keep Dutton there once again. Shah struck out Ethan Conley swinging for the third out of the inning.
  • In the ninth, Shah fanned two batters and allowed just one hit. He fanned Mark Christine, an All-Divison player in the Midwest Conference last season, to end the contest.

Scarlet Hawk Standouts

  • Tarala’s first outing was impressive, as the senior tossed seven innings on three-run ball, striking out nine and earning the victory.
  • Shah earned the save, striking out three guys in two innings.
  • Upham, the right fielder, was two-for-three with a three-run homer and a single.
  • Dickey was two-for-four with a double and a triple.
  • Howell hit the ball hard in every at-bat, going one-for-four with a double and an RBI on the groundout in the eighth.

Stats to Know

  • Illinois Tech pitching struckout 12 hitters compared to five for Beloit.
  • The Scarlet Hawks had three sacrifice bunts in the contest.
  • It was a great defensive day, as Illinois Tech did not commit an error.