Phil Haig tossed seven shutout innings in Illinois' 8-0 win over Texas-Pan American on Friday.
Feb. 27, 2009
EDINBURG, Texas - Left-hander Phil Haig tossed seven scoreless innings, catcher Aaron Johnson hit a first-inning grand slam and second baseman Josh Parr first went 4-for-4 to lead Illinois to an 8-0 win over Texas-Pan American in the teams' first game of the Al Ogletree Classic at Edinburg Baseball Stadium. Designated hitter Pete Cappetta also was 2-for-2 with two walks and two runs as the Illini improved to 3-1.
"We were excellent on the mound tonight," Illinois head coach Dan Hartleb. "Phil was very strong all night and he was able to get out of a couple of tight situations because he showed good composure. Plus, Aaron started us off with that big hit and we did a good job of tacking on runs throughout the game. This was the best team performance we've had so far this season."
The Illini jumped out to an early lead in the first when left fielder Casey McMurray ripped a one-out single through the right side and moved to second when shortstop Brandon Wikoff was hit by a pitch. Third baseman Dominic Altobelli drew a walk to load the bases and catcher Aaron Johnson ripped the 1-0 pitch over the 22-foot wall in left for a grand slam, his first homer of the season, and a 4-0 Illinois lead.
After Haig held the Broncs scoreless through the first three innings, the Orange and Blue tacked on a run in the top of the fourth. DH Pete Cappetta singled up the middle and stole second. After an out, second baseman Josh Parr drove him home with a single down the right-field line to extend the lead to 5-0.
Illinois added another tally in the sixth when Cappetta drew a leadoff walk and right fielder Craig Lutes walked behind him. Parr then executed a fake bunt perfectly, bouncing a high chopper over the head of the drawn-in third baseman for a single that drove in Cappetta from second for a 6-0 margin.
The Illini added two more runs in the seventh after Altobelli drew a one-out walk. After an out, first baseman Matt Dittman walked and Cappetta dropped a single into right-center that plated Altobelli and moved Dittman to third. Cappetta then got hung up between second and third, which allowed Dittman to scamper home with a stolen base to push the Illinois lead to 8-0.
Haig kept the Broncs off the board in the seventh, finishing his stint with seven scoreless innings and scattering three hits while allowing two walks and striking out two.
Freshman John Anderson pitched a perfect eighth inning and Lee Zerrusen finished the game for the Illini. Cappetta was 2-for-2 with two walks, two runs, an RBI and two stolen bases and Johnson was 1-for-3 with a grand slam for the Orange and Blue.
Illinois continues play in the Al Ogletree Classic by squaring off with Stephen F. Austin on Saturday at 3 p.m. The Lumberjacks downed Texas-Arlington, 12-6, on Friday.