Justin Parr went 3-for-4 with an RBI double, but the Illini dropped a 12-3 decision to Indiana.
April 6, 2012
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Junior left fielder Justin Parr went 3-for-4 with an RBI double but Indiana scored seven runs in the third inning and held on for a 12-3 win over Illinois in front of 1,128 fans at Illinois Field on Friday. The loss snapped starting pitcher Kevin Johnson's string of five consecutive victories and dropped the Illini to 15-12 overall, 1-3 in the Big Ten.
"We didn't perform well, especially in the third inning," Illinois head coach Dan Hartleb said. "We had five fundamental mistakes and we didn't have great composure on the mound in that situation. We let things speed up on us and didn't make good pitches. It's a disappointing day, but you have to put that behind you and bounce back tomorrow. You have to enough memory where you learn and you don't make the same mistakes, but you have to have a short memory to go out and forget about the score of the game and come out and get a win tomorrow."
After both pitchers retired the opposing side in order in the first, Johnson gave up a leadoff walk in the second. The runner moved to second on a sacrifice bunt but was stranded there after a soft line-out to third baseman Brandon Hohl and another liner to Parr.
But Indiana (14-16, 5-2) jumped on Johnson in the third inning when they strung together a bunt single, a wild pitch, an RBI single, another bunt single, an RBI double and a two-run double. After a walk, the Hoosiers added an RBI single and an RBI groundout before Johnson induced another groundout for the second out. But he gave up an RBI double off third base to left fielder Chris Sujka and Brian de la Torriente came on in relief. He induced a pop-up to end the inning but not before Indiana raced out to a 7-0 lead.
After de la Torriente worked a 1-2-3 inning in the fourth, the Illini looked to start a rally in the bottom half as center fielder Willie Argo drew a one-out walk and Parr slashed a single to left. But Hohl grounded into an inning-ending double play as Indiana held onto its 7-0 advantage.
The Hoosiers added a run in the fifth on a two-out solo home run by third baseman Chad Clark to go ahead 8-0. Indiana tacked on two more in the sixth after a walk, a single, a sacrifice fly and an RBI groundout, extending its lead to 10-0.
In the bottom of the sixth, DH Will Krug slapped a one-out single to center and, one out later, center fielder Willie Argo ripped an infield single off Clark's chest. Parr smacked a double to deep center, driving home Krug, but Hohl struck out to end the inning as the Illini drew within 10-1.
Drasen Johnson relieved de la Torriente to start the seventh and worked a quick 1-2-3 inning, requiring only nine pitches. In the bottom half, right fielder Davis Hendrickson was hit by a pitch with one out and moved to second when second baseman Reid Roper beat out an infield hit. Catcher Kelly Norris-Jones slapped a single to right-center, but the right fielder got to it quickl and Hendrickson had to hold at third. He scored on a wild pitch but Krug struck out and, after a pitching change, shortstop Thomas Lindauer grounded out to third base to strand two runners as Illinois got within 10-2.
Indiana added to its lead in the eighth, though, on a two-run homer by first baseman Sam Travis. In the bottom half, Argo drew a leadoff walk and scampered to third on Parr's single through the right side. He came home as Hohl grounded into a double play, bringing the score to 12-3.
Anthony Milazzo entered to pitch the ninth and gave up a leadoff infield hit into the hole on the left side. Lindauer made a nice over-the-shoulder catch retreating into shallow left field for the first out and Milazzo rolled up a 4-6-3 double play to end the inning.
The same two teams return to Illinois Field for game two of the series Saturday at 3:05 p.m. Freshman right-hander John Kravetz will get the start for the Illini, while Indiana will give the ball to freshman lefty Kyle Hart.