Illini Win Extra Inning Thriller, 9-8

Illini left fielder Drew Davidson homered and collected three RBI against Michigan Sunday.
Illini left fielder Drew Davidson homered and collected three RBI against Michigan Sunday.

April 18, 2004

Box Score

Ann Arbor, Mich. - The University of Illinois baseball team won an extra inning 9-8 over Michigan when Ted Rowe scampered home on a wild pitch in the top of the 11th inning Sunday afternoon at Ray Fisher Stadium on the Michigan campus in Ann Arbor. The win moves Illinois to 12-19 overall and 5-7 in the Big Ten. Michigan moves to 18-14 overall and 7-5 in Conference play.

After Michigan scored one in the bottom of the first on an RBI double, Illinois answered right back in the top half of the second. Trevor Frederickson reached on a one-out walk, and Drew Davidson followed with a two-run home run, his second in as many days, over the left field wall to hand Illinois a 2-1 lead.

Michigan regained its lead in the bottom half of the fourth, using three hits and an Illinois fielding error to plate a pair of runs and grab a 3-2 lead off Illni starter Dusty Bensko. Michigan made it 5-2 in the bottom of the fifth when left fielder Brad Roblin connected on a two-run, two-out double.

Illinois answered with a rally of its own in the top of the sixth off reliever Phil Tognetti. With the bases loaded and two out, third baseman Brian Raymond came to the plate and the last minute addition to the line-up sliced a two-run single to left to draw Illinois to within one at 5-4. Illinois grabbed the lead back two batters later when, after Trevor Huisinga walked to reload the bases, Ryan Hastings laced a single right to plate another pair of runners and give Illinois a 6-5 lead.

Davidson gave Illinois insurance in the top of the seventh when he went the opposite way, sending a single to right off lefthanded reliever Ali Husain to score Ryan Rogowski, who reached when he was hit by a pitch and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt, from second to give Illinois a 7-5 lead.

Illinois made it 8-5 in the eighth when Chris Robinson scored from third on a wild pitch from reliever Andrew Hess with the bases loaded and two out.

UM added a single unearned run in the bottom of the eighth to move to within two at 8-6, than plated a pair on a two-out single off the bat of Kyle Bohm in the same frame to tie the game at 8-8.

Michigan rallied in the bottom of the 10th, loading the bases with no one out, but defensive manuvering from Illinois got the game into the 11th. After a lead-off walk put the winning run on first, Illinois brought Vince DiMaria in from the outfield, giving the Illini five infielders to defend against the bunt. But a fielding error on the ensuing bunt and a wild pitch from Morris put runners on second and third with no one out for Chris Getz. However, after an intentional walk loaded the bases, Coach Itch Jones moved Vince DiMaria from right to center and was immediately rewarded as a fly ball off the bat of Matt Butler went to DiMaria, and the senior gunned Leif Mahler out at home on a straight throw to catcher Chris Robinson, who was waiting at the plate hoping to make a play on the winning run. Now with two outs, Illinois walked the next batter to load the bases again, and A.J. Scheidt followed by popping up into foul territory to Robinson for the improbable third out.

Illinois followed with a rally of its own in the top of the 11th. Trevor Frederickson led off with a single, his third hit of the day, and went to second on a wild pitch, at which time Ted Rowe was sent in from the dugout to run for him. After Rowe went to third on a ground out off the bat of pinch hitter Shawn Roof, Rowe scampered home with the go-ahead run on a wild pitch from reliever Dan Lentz to give Illinois a 9-8 lead.

Michigan rallied in the bottom of the 11th, loading the bases with only one out, but got a double play ball to ensure the 9-8 win.

Illinois starter Dusty Bensko did not factor in the decision after allowing five runs (four earned) in five complete innings of work. He allowed nine hits, walked one and struck out two. Aaron Saving worked two innings, allowing one run on one hit before James Morris came on with no one out and a runner on third in the bottom half of the eighth. He gave up the two runs in the eighth that allowed Michigan to tie the game but recovered to throw the final xx innings, earning the win to move to 2-0 on the year.

UM reliever Michael McCormick, the fifth Wolverine pitcher of the day, suffered the loss after allowing Trevor Frederickson to reach on a lead-off single in the top of the 11th. He falls to 1-1 on the year. UM starter Bobby Garza did not factor in the decision after allowing two runs on four hits in 3 1/3 innings.

Offensively, five Illini reached multiple hits Sunday, including Frederickson, Davidson, Raymond, Robinson and designated hitter Jim Sharwarko. Davidson had three RBI, and Hastings and Raymond recorded two RBI each.

Illinois returns to action Tuesday at Illinois State at 6 pm before hosting Illinois College Wednesday at 4:30 at Illinois Field in a make-up from an earlier rainout.