March 16, 2003
Edinburg, Texas - The University of Illinois baseball team concluded action at the University of Texas-Pan American Al Ogletree Classic with a 13-0 shutout victory against the Prairie View A&M Panthers at the Edinburg Baseball Stadium Sunday afternoon in a 10-run rule shortened game. The Illini won the tournament, finishing with a perfect 3-0 mark. Illinois improves to 6-1 on the season, while Prairie View A&M falls to 5-25.
"We got great pitching and solid defense all weekend," said Illinois head coach Richard 'Itch' Jones. "Our defense was sound during all three of the games and our pitching is getting better. We got three good games in this weekend and it was good to play some games in a row. We kept our strikeouts to a minimum and were more disciplined at the plate."
For the third day in a row, Illinois got on the board first as Vince DiMaria led off the game with a double into the left field corner. Freshman Chris Robinson, who got the start behind the plate Sunday, drove in DiMaria on a single up the middle to give the Illini an early 1-0 advantage. DiMaria was 2-5 with three runs scored.
The Illini broke the game wide open in the second, as they batted through the order and scored seven runs on four walks and one error. Leftfielder Drew Davidson and designated hitter Chad Frk delivered the two biggest blows of the inning. Davidson delivered a two-run single, while Frk poked a double to plate the final two runs of the inning for Illinois. Frk was 2-4 with a walk on the day, with three RBI.
Sean Patrick remained hot, doubling in three runs in the top of the eighth inning to ice the game for the Illini.
Coach Jones used four Illini pitchers to shut out the Panthers and limited them to three hits in the eight inning run-rule shortened game. Junior Joe Ziemba got the start and no hit Prairie View in his three innings of work to go along with four strikeouts. He earned the win to improve to 1-0 on the season. Reilly Smith followed, pitching two innings and allowing two hits. Jimmy Conroy threw two innings and Jeff Paarlberg pitched the bottom half of the eighth to close it out.
The Illini will see action Mar. 21 at 9:30 A.M. against Columbia when they travel to Bradenton, Fla. for their spring break trip.