Illinois Sweeps Doubleheader against Oakland

Senior Brandon Hohl's first home run of the season was a grand slam, which was one of four Illini HRs on the day.
Senior Brandon Hohl's first home run of the season was a grand slam, which was one of four Illini HRs on the day.

March 30, 2013

Game 1 Box Score | Game 2 Box Score | Photo Gallery  | Hartleb Interview

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Illinois swept a doubleheader over Oakland on Saturday in a pair of very different games at Illinois Field. The Illini scored their most runs under head coach Dan Hartleb in a 21-8 victory in game one and followed it up with solid pitching in a 3-2 win over the Grizzlies in game two. After winning the first three games of the series, Illinois boasts an overall record of 17-6.

"We played well, but it was two completely different games today," head coach Dan Hartleb said. "We swung the bats extremely well in game one and took advantage of a lot of walks. I was really impressed with Oakland and the way they came back in the second game. Their pitcher did a very good job, and they competed well."

In game one of the day, the Orange and Blue belted three home runs and racked up a season-high 18 hits on their way to scoring 21 runs for the first time since May 6, 2005 (21-4 over Northwestern). The Illini tallied 16 runs in the first four innings, which included a grand slam by senior Brandon Hohl, a three-run bomb by redshirt-junior Jordan Parr and a solo shot by junior Thomas Lindauer that hit the scoreboard. Senior Justin Parr matched a career high with four hits and knocked in a season-high four runs during the offensive explosion. Freshman Kevin Duchene improved to 3-0 after six solid innings with only two runs.

In the second game, sophomore John Kravetz carried a no-hitter into the eighth inning and fifth-year senior Bryan Roberts earned his first save since 2010 after a stellar throw from Will Krug ended the game at the plate. Kravetz also picked up his third win of the season after allowing just three hits and two runs in 7.1 innings. Lindauer hit his second solo home run of the day and tied Jordan Parr for the team lead with four, while the Illini won their sixth one-run game this season.

"We got tremendous pitching out of John Kravetz in the second game and that throw by Will Krug to end the game was outstanding," Hartleb said. "We came up with some clutch hits and continued to tack some runs on the board."

Game One Recap // Illinois 21, Oakland 8 | Hohl Interview | Lindauer Interview
Illinois fell behind 2-0 in the top of the first before turning it on with its best offensive output in nearly eight years. The Illini scored three runs in the first inning for the second game in a row on a two-run double by Justin Parr and an RBI infield single by sophomore David Kerian. Illinois kept its hot hitting going in the second, posting its biggest inning of the season with seven runs on eight hits.

After three straight singles to start the second, sophomore Michael Hurwitz sent a two-run double to right field. Justin Parr kept things going with an RBI single before Jordan Parr cleared the bases with a three-run shot that stayed fair down the left-field line. Lindauer nailed the middle of the scoreboard with a line drive home run for the final run of the inning.

The Illini had a run walked in during the third along with Hohl's grand slam, which was his first dinger of the year. A sacrifice fly by Kerian in the fourth made it 16-2.

Oakland put up five runs in the seventh and another in the eighth, but UI responded with five two-out runs thanks in large part to six walks in the bottom of the eighth. Seniors Davis Hendrickson and Justin Parr each had an RBI single in the stanza, while redshirt-freshman P.J. Brennan finished off the 21-8 performance with a perfect ninth inning.

Game Two Recap // Illinois 3, Oakland 2 | Kravetz Interview | Krug Interview
Kravetz cruised through the Oakland lineup, retiring 21 of the first 23 Grizzlies he faced. The Lansing, Ill., native only gave up a walk and an HBP during the first seven innings before allowing his first hit with a leadoff single in the eighth. Oakland knocked Kravetz out of the game with one out in the eighth after an RBI single and a double steal made it a 3-2 game.

Roberts entered another contest in a tight spot and came through in the clutch with a pair of strikeouts looking to keep the one-run lead. The Lisle, Ill., native went back out to the mound for the ninth and got a great defensive play to seal his save. With two outs and a runner on second, Oakland singled through the left side and sent the tying run to the plate, but Krug, who normally plays right field and started in left field for the first time, fielded the ball cleanly and made a perfect throw to catcher Kelly Norris-Jones, who applied the tag just before the runner's hand reached the plate.

Krug also scored the first run of the game in the third inning on an RBI double by Hurwitz. Hohl knocked in Kerian for the second run on an RBI single in the fourth, and Lindauer homered to left field for the second time in the sixth, which put the Illini up 3-0 at the time.

In four appearances this season, Roberts has three wins and a save in in 6.1 scoreless innings. He earned his first save since May 8, 2010, and now has ten career saves, which is ranked seventh in school history.

Up Next: Illinois will go for a four-game sweep of Oakland on Sunday when it sends freshman Nick Blackburn to the hill to take on Chris Van Dyke at 12:05 p.m. at Illinois Field.