Late Rally Falls Short against Eastern Illinois
April 9, 2013
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Senior Justin Parr homered in the first and junior Thomas Lindauer hit a three-run shot during a ninth-inning rally, but Illinois couldn't battle all the way back, falling 8-4 to Eastern Illinois. EIU scored all eight of its runs in the sixth, and the Illini committed all three of their errors in that inning on Tuesday night at Illinois Field.
"It's tough to win a game when you get outplayed in all three aspects," head coach Dan Hartleb said. "Eastern out pitched us, played better defense than us and outhit us. They played a good game and came up with the big inning."
The Illini grabbed an early 1-0 lead when Justin Parr wasted no time extending his career-high hitting streak to 17 games, belting a 3-1 pitch over the right-field wall in the bottom of the first. UI carried the one-run advantage into the sixth before EIU posted an eight-run inning, collecting seven hits and capitalizing on three Illini errors.
Freshman Kevin Duchene (4-1) struck out a career-high five batters and only gave up two earned runs in 5.1 innings, but suffered his first loss of the season. The Joliet, Ill., native retired the first nine batters of the game and only allowed three base runners in the first five innings. He recorded the first out of the sixth at home on a failed safety squeeze before the Orange and Blue went to the bullpen.
Illinois used three pitchers after Duchene to get out of the inning, with six of the eight runs in the frame being charged to the bullpen. After redshirt-sophomore Drasen Johnson and freshman J.D. Nielsen were unable to record an out, redshirt-freshman Andrew Mamlic notched the final two outs of the sixth and tossed a scoreless seventh. Sophomore Anthony Milazzo pitched a perfect eighth on six pitches, while redshirt-sophomore Reid Roper did not allow a run in the ninth.
Sophomore Chase Hainline led off the bottom of the ninth with a single, stole second and advanced to third after Justin Parr legged out an infield single. After a strikeout, Lindauer sent a 2-2 pitch over the wall in left center to clear the bases for his team-high sixth home run, which ranks second in the Big Ten. The Illini were unable to keep the rally going and fell to 19-10 overall on the season.
After going 2-for-4 with his third home run of the season, Justin Parr upped his team-leading average to .435, which took over the top spot in the Big Ten and ranks in the top 10 in the NCAA. He boasts the third-longest active hitting streak in the country at 17 games and has a hit in 27 of 29 games on the year.
Up Next: Illinois will host Purdue for a three-game series this weekend at Illinois Field. The Illini and Boilermakers will square off at 6:05 p.m. on Friday night, 3:05 p.m. on Saturday afternoon and 2:05 p.m. on Sunday. The fifth-annual Bleacher Bum Barbecue will be held during Sunday's contest, which will be aired live on the Big Ten Network.