Illinois Drops Midweek Game at Illinois State, 6-2
April 15, 2014
NORMAL, Ill. - Illinois (18-14) committed a pair of costly errors and fell 6-2 to Illinois State (22-11) on Tuesday at Duffy Bass Field. The Redbirds scored six runs in the first two innings, but only one run was earned. Sophomores Jason Goldstein and Adam Walton each went 3-for-5, as the Orange and Blue outhit ISU 10-8.
"We made too many mistakes again," head coach Dan Hartleb said. "We had a chance to get out of the inning in the second, but we made a routine error, then they hit the grand slam. The game may be a lot different if we make those plays, but if it plays out the same way, we win a tight ball game. We didn't play very well from a fundamental standpoint."
Illinois State capitalized on a pair of Illini errors in the first two innings, jumping out to a 6-0 lead. The Redbirds scored an unearned run in the first frame on an RBI single. ISU led off the second stanza with a solo homer and loaded the bases in the inning with two outs on a costly error at shortstop that would have ended the threat. The next batter belted a grand slam over the left field wall.
Illinois' bullpen got the job done, tossing 6.1 scoreless innings and recording 10 strikeouts. Sophomore Nick Blackburn relieved Sedlock in the second and ended the inning with a strikeout. He put up a zero in both the third and fourth and finished with 2.1 hitless innings with two walks and a strikeout.
Senior Luke Joyce made his second appearance on the season and did not allow a run in the fifth. Redshirt-sophomore Andrew Mamlic took over in the sixth and notched a career-high six strikeouts in two innings of work. Redshirt-sophomore Charlie Naso was the fifth Illini pitcher used in the game and struck out two Redbirds in a scoreless eighth.
"Our bullpen was really good today," Hartleb said. "They made good pitches to work out of jams. Andrew threw with conviction and threw with velocity. He hit spots, so I was really pleased with his outing."
Goldstein scored the first Illini run in the fourth. The UI catcher smacked a one-out double to right center, advanced to third on an infield single by junior David Kerian and crossed home on a wild pitch. Walton, who extended his career-long hitting streak to 14 games, singled home junior Will Krug in the ninth, but the Illini couldn't complete the comeback.
Goldstein doubled twice on the day and is now 10-for-12 (.833) in Illinois' three midweek games this season.
Up Next: Illinois will head to State College, Pa., for a three-game series with Penn State this weekend (April 18-20). Friday's first pitch is slated for 5:30 p.m. CT followed by a 1 p.m. CT Saturday start and an 11 a.m. start on Sunday, which will be aired live on the Big Ten Network.