Justin Parr registered his second four-hit game of 2012 and scored the winning run in Illinois' 9-8 win over Lamar.
Feb. 26, 2012
BEAUMONT, Texas - Sophomore first baseman Jordan Parr doubled home his twin brother, Justin, for the go-ahead run with two outs in the ninth inning and Illinois held on for a 9-8 victory over Lamar in the final game of the YMBL Cardinal Classic on Sunday. Catcher Alex Lincoln, who entered the game as a defensive replacement in the bottom of the ninth, picked off a runner at third base to seal the win as the Illini improved to 3-4 on the season with a weekend split.
Justin Parr recorded his second four-hit game of the year and scored three runs, while Jordan Parr, Brandon Hohl and Davis Hendrickson each had two RBIs. Reid Roper pitched a scoreless 1 2/3 innings to finish the game, securing his first career pitching win as an Illini.
"It wasn't the prettiest thing in the world, but it just comes down to finding ways to win games, so I was pleased with that," Illinois head coach Dan Hartleb said. "Our guys have to learn how to play nine innings with intensity and not have any lapses, but again, we found a way to win late, we kept our composure and we have a lot of positive things out of the weekend."
The Illini jumped on top early, scoring three in the top of the first. Shortstop Thomas Lindauer singled off the third-base bag and center fielder Willie Argo beat out a bunt single. Left fielder Justin Parr reached when the catcher stumbled while trying to field his sacrifice bunt attempt and third baseman Brandon Hohl drove in Lindauer with a sacrifice fly. Second baseman Reid Roper singled to right, driving in Argo, and first baseman Jordan Parr singled to right to load the bases. Right fielder Davis Hendrickson then drove in Justin Parr with a sacrifice fly to center, pushing the lead to 3-0.
Illini starter John Kravetz stranded a pair of runners in the bottom of the first after a one-out walk and a two-out single, fanning center fielder Garret Autry on a 1-2 pitch. After a scoreless top half of the inning, Kravetz allowed a leadoff single but the runner was erased when catcher Kelly Norris-Jones gunned him down trying to steal. Lindauer then made a pair of slick plays up the middle to retire the side and keep the Illini staked to a 3-0 margin.
Lamar got a couple runs back in the bottom of the third, though, after a pair of one-out singles and a balk put men on second and third. A sacrifice fly brought home one runner and a base hit to right scored the second. But Kravetz kept his composure and coaxed a fly-out to Argo for the third out as the Cardinals drew within 3-2
Kravetz regained control in the fourth, though, working around a two-out infield hit to keep Lamar off the board. The Illini bats went back to work in the fifth when Argo drew a two-out walk and Justin Parr singled to right field, pushing Argo to third. Hohl pulled a single through the left side, plating Argo, and Roper walked to load the bases. Jordan Parr drove in a run when he was hit by the first pitch from Lamar reliever Stephen Seger, and Hendrickson drew a walk to force home Hohl. Norris-Jones was hit by a pitch, driving in Roper, and DH Thomas Shelton walked to force home Jordan Parr. Lamar brought in reliever John Gilligan, who induced an inning-ending groundout by Lindauer, but the Illini had pushed their lead to 8-2.
Kravetz worked a quick 1-2-3 inning in the fifth, putting himself in line for the victory, but ran into a bit of trouble in the sixth. He walked the first hitter, then sandwiched a pair of hits around a strikeout, as Lamar pushed across a run. Hartleb brought in redshirt-freshman Drasen Johnson from the bullpen, who induced an inning-ending 4-6-3 double play on his second pitch to keep the Illini lead at 8-3.
The Illini went down without scoring in the seventh and that's when things took a turn for the worse. Johnson walked the first two hitters he faced in the bottom of the seventh before striking out the third. He then gave up consecutive RBI singles and was relieved by Luke Joyce. But Joyce missed badly with his 1-0 pitch to Lamar center fielder Garret Autry, who hammered it off the signage in right field for a three-run homer that tied the game at 8. Joyce walked the next hitter before coaxing a foul pop-up to Jordan Parr and striking out catcher Zach Luevanos for the final out.
The Illini went down in order in the eighth and Joyce got a groundout before walking consecutive hitters. Reid Roper moved from second base to the mound, with Michael Hurwitz taking over at second, but Roper walked the first hitter he faced to load the bases. He induced a 6-4-3 double play from the next hitter to sidestep trouble, though, and keep the game knotted at 8.
In the ninth, Justin Parr ripped a first-pitch single through the right side and moved to second when Hohl sacrificed him over. Roper flew out to left-center for the second out but Jordan Parr hooked a first-pitch double over the bag at third to drive home Justin for the go-ahead run. Hendrickson then singled through the right side and Parr motored toward the plate, but he was ruled out on a bang-bang play to end the inning with the Illini holding a 9-8 advantage.
Alex Lincoln took over for Norris-Jones behind the plate in the bottom of the ninth and Roper struck out the first hitter he faced. He gave up consecutive base hits to the next two hitters he faced before striking out Luevanos for the second out. On the first pitch to the next batter, the runner from first took off toward second, looking to start a run-down. Lincoln sniffed it out, though, faking a throw to second and throwing behind the runner at third to pick him off and end the game.
Justin Parr led the Illini offensively, going 4-for-5 with three runs, while Jordan Parr went 2-for-4 with a double, two RBIs and a run. Hendrickson was 1-for-2 with two RBIs and Lindauer went 2-for-5 with a run. Roper also went 1-for-4 with an RBI and a run, while earning his first win on the mound with 1 2/3 scoreless innings of relief to close out the game.
For the weekend, Argo hit .438 (7-for-16) with an RBI and four runs, while Hohl was 5-for-14 (.357) with a homer, six RBIs and four runs. Lindauer went 4-for-9 (.444) in two starts, driving in two runs and scoring three, and Jordan Parr was 6-for-17 (.353) with a double, four RBIs and three runs. On the mound, Matt Milroy posted 3 1/3 scoreless innings of relief and Ronnie Muck pitched 2 1/3 scoreless innings over two outings. Roper tossed 1 2/3 scoreless innings, Anthony Milazzo tossed a scoreless inning and Will Krug pitched a perfect 2/3 of an inning.
The Illini return to action on Friday, March 2, at 11 a.m. CT when they take on St. John's in the first game of the Coastal Carolina Invitational. Illinois and the Red Storm will square off at BB&T Coastal Field, home of the Myrtle Beach Pelicans, the single-A affiliate of the Texas Rangers.