Chicago -- UIC got a career performance from starting pitcher Tim Suminski to beat the Youngstown State baseball team 5-0 and eliminate the Penguins from the 2012 Horizon League Baseball Tournament at Les Miller Field.
The fourth-seeded and host Flames will move on to the championship round to face No. 1 Valparaiso this afternoon while the sixth-seeded Penguins finished third in the tournament for the third straight season.
Suminski, who made just one start during the regular season, did not allow a hit over the final five innings. He surrendered just four hits in the game and struck out three batters while walking two.
Youngstown State threatened several times against the UIC left-hander, but the Penguins couldn't come up with the big hit.
Jeremy Banks was robbed of an RBI single in the first when UIC shortstop Alex Lee made a diving grab on a liner up the middle, and Suminski got Craig Goubeaux to foul out with the bases loaded in the fourth. Kevin Hix then had a potential RBI single taken away in the seventh when his grounder up the middle ricocheted off the rubber to Lee, who threw him out at first with a runner on second.
YSU starter Russ Harless, pitching on two days rest, gave an admirable effort in allowing two earned runs in 4 1-3 innings. Kevin McCulloh, who also had a heavy workload early in the tournament, allowed two runs in 2 1-3 innings. Nic Manuppelli did not allow a run in the final 1 1-3 innings.
"Those three guys pitched with a lot of heart today, and I'm proud of their effort" YSU head coach Rich Pasquale said. "We played hard all year, but we didn't always get the results we wanted. It was nice to be rewarded for our hard work this week, and we played hard until the final out."
UIC got the only run it needed in the third without recording a hit. Harless hit John Coen and Jacob McNamara to start the inning, and Coen came in to score after a sacrifice bunt and a sacrifice fly. An RBI bloop triple in the fourth from Nick Addison that fell with the help of some wind in front of Dan Hurlimann in right put UIC up 2-0.
The Flames got an unearned run in the fifth when McNamara took home as Jason Shirley bobbled Joe Betcher's single to left, and Jon Ryan hit a two-out, two-run homer in the seventh to make the score 5-0.
UIC had just one hit in the first three innings but finished with 11 in the game.