Illini Stumble Against Benedictine-Springfield, 8-6
April 6, 2011
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Illinois took a 5-2 lead after four innings but Benedictine-Springfield scored six runs in the sixth before holding on for an 8-6 win over the Illini at Illinois Field on Wednesday. Adam Davis, Justin Parr and Brandon Hohl each collected three hits and Chris Pack tossed 3 1/3 scoreless innings to close out the game as Illinois fell to 9-14 on the year.
"Offensively, we're capable but we didn't put good at bats together tonight," Illinois head coach Dan Hartleb said. "We were reaching for pitches out of the zone and from a pitching standpoint, we need to hit the spots. We just missed our pitching locations today."
The Illini scored first, posting a pair of runs in the first inning. Center fielder Willie Argo drew a leadoff walk and, after an out, stole second. One out later, Davis tripled to center field, driving home Argo, and Hohl singled through the left side to bring home Davis for a 2-0 lead.
Benedictine-Springfield got a run back in the second on a double and a base hit, but Illinois put two more on the board in the bottom half. Catcher Ryan Arrick led off with a single and right fielder Davis Hendrickson singled through the right side. Argo singled up the middle to load the bases and, one out later, left fielder Casey McMurray drove in Arrick when the left fielder dropped his fly ball. But Hendrickson was put out at third after he held up to see if the ball was caught, resulting in the second out. Davis lined a single to center that drove in Argo, but Davis was thrown out at second trying to stretch it to a double, making the Illini lead 4-1.
The Bulldogs added a run in the fourth, but Illinois got it back in the bottom half. Hendrickson beat out an infield hit on a ball fielded by the first baseman behind the bag and stole second. After an out, shortstop Josh Parr ripped a single through the left side to drive in Hendrickson for a 5-2 lead.
But Benedictine scored six runs in the sixth on six runs, two walks and a hit batter to grab an 8-5 advantage. In the seventh, Hohl and Justin Parr knocked back-to-back two-out singles but were stranded by an inning-ending groundout.
Arrick led off the eighth with a base hit to right center and, two outs later, Josh Parr walked. But Arrick was tagged out on McMurray's grounder to the third baseman to end the inning.
After Pack worked a 1-2-3 ninth inning, Davis started the bottom half with a base hit and moved to second on a groundout by Hohl. Justin Parr drove in Davis with a base hit through the right side, but second baseman Thomas Lindauer struck out and pinch hitter Pat Sheehan grounded out to third base to end the game with the Bulldogs taking an 8-6 win.
Davis was 3-for-5 with a triple, two RBIs and two runs. Justin Parr was 3-for-5 with a double and an RBI, and Hohl went 3-for-5 with an RBI. Argo was 2-for-4 with a steal and two runs, and Arrick went 2-for-4 with a run in his first career start. Hendrickson was the seventh Illini to record a multiple-hit game, going 2-for-4 with a steal and a run. Pack posted 3 1/3 scoreless innings, allowing only one hit while notching four strikeouts, his most as an Illini.
The Orange and Blue return to action on Friday when they welcome Iowa to Illinois for a three-game Big Ten series. Friday's game will begin at 6:05 p.m. and will be streamed through FightingIllini.com's All-Access platform. Saturday's game will air live on the Big Ten Network at 6:05 p.m. and Sunday's game will be streamed on BigTenNetwork.com.