Nick Stockwell scored the game-winning run against Iowa in Illinois' 6-2 win, going 2-for-4 with a double, two RBI and a run.
April 20, 2007
IOWA CITY, Iowa - Illinois starter Tanner Roark went seven strong innings, giving up just one run, and Illinois took advantage of four Iowa errors to win the first game of the series 6-2 at Duane Banks Field. Third baseman Brandon Wikoff went 3-for-5 with an RBI, and rightfielder Nick Stockwell was 2-for-4 with a double, two RBI and a run.
"Tanner settled in after rough first and second innings and was able to get us deep into the game," Illinois coach Dan Hartleb said. "That allowed our hitters to take over the game and put up enough runs for us tonight."
Iowa notched the scoreboard first with a run in the bottom of the first, but Illinois responded with a tally in the second inning. Shortstop Shawn Roof led off with a walk and scored on second baseman Ryan Hastings' double to deep center, tying the game 1-1.
In the third, catcher Lars Davis ripped a one-out double to right and, one out later, advanced to third when DH Daniel Webb reached on a throwing error by the shortstop. Roof then drove home Davis with a base hit, posting the Illini to a 2-1 lead.
Illinois added another run in the third after a lead-off single by Stockwell and a walk by centerfielder Kyle Hudson. After an out, Wikoff drove in Stockwell with a single for a 3-1 advantage.
In the fifth, Webb led off with a base hit and moved to third when Iowa first baseman Dusty Napoleon couldn't field a grounder from Hastings. Iowa starter Steve Turnbull then attempted a pick-off at first, but Napoleon muffed the throw, allowing Hastings to move up a base and Webb to score, pushing the lead to 4-1.
Two innings later, the Illini put the game away with a pair of runs, both coming with two outs. With two down, Roof doubled to the wall in left and Hastings walked. Stockwell then drove them both in with a bloop double to right-center, making the Illini margin 6-1.
"I was pleased with the fact that we put pressure on them in every inning," Hartleb said. "We had at least one base runner in every inning and two in a number of innings, and we also found a way to score two runs with two outs and nobody on in the seventh."
Roark got stronger as he went along, facing just three hitters in each of the fourth, fifth and sixth innings thanks to double plays in the fourth and fifth and a runner caught stealing in the sixth. Roark struck out the first hitter in the seventh before giving up a hit and a walk, but he struck out Jason White and Travis Sweet, the Nos. 1 and 2 hitters in the Iowa order to finish the frame.
Overall, Roark went seven innings, giving up one run on seven hits and three walks with six strikeouts. Omar Kadir finished the game, giving up an unearned run in the ninth but striking out five hitters - four looking - in his two-inning relief stint.
Offensively for the Illlini, Roof was 2-for-4 with a double, two runs, an RBI, a hit by pitch and a steal. Webb went 2-for-5 with a double and a run, and Davis was 1-for-3 with a double, a run, a steal and a walk.
Up Next: Illinois and Iowa square off in a 2 p.m. doubleheader on Saturday. Mike Stankiewicz and Billy Barrett are slated to start for the Illini, while Danny Bales and Casey O'Rourke will toe the rubber for the Hawkeyes.