Illini Fall 7-6 to Buckeyes in 10 Innings

Justin Parr recorded a hit for the 23rd consecutive game, matching Tom Sinak (1994-95) for the second-longest hitting streak in school history.
Justin Parr recorded a hit for the 23rd consecutive game, matching Tom Sinak (1994-95) for the second-longest hitting streak in school history.

April 20, 2013

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COLUMBUS, Ohio - Senior Justin Parr equaled the second-longest hitting streak in school history on Saturday, but Illinois fell to Ohio State on a walk-off RBI double in the 10th, 7-6. In a back-and-forth game that featured four ties and four lead changes, the Illini led early and battled back twice before suffering their first loss in an extra-inning game this season, which snapped their five-game winning streak.

"It was a battle today," head coach Dan Hartleb said. "It was a fun college baseball game to watch but a tough one to lose. We dug ourselves into holes at certain times, but our guys competed well. We thought we could win the entire time, but they got the big hit and we didn't."

Illinois (24-11, 6-5 Big Ten) tied the game 6-6 in the seventh by scoring senior Brandon Hohl, who reached on a leadoff hit by pitch, while Ohio State (24-13, 8-6 Big Ten) won the game in the 10th by plating its leadoff hitter, who started the inning with a hit by pitch, advanced to second on a sac bunt and scored on the walk-off double. The Orange and Blue were 3-0 in extra-inning games before the Buckeyes evened up the series at Bill Davis Stadium.

The Illini, who matched a season-high with 13 runners left on base, had a chance to take the lead in the top of the eighth, but left Justin Parr stranded at third after failing to execute a suicide squeeze attempt. After finishing 2-for-5, Justin Parr recorded a hit for the 23rd consecutive game, matching Tom Sinak (1994-95) for the second-longest hitting streak in school history, which sits two shy of Ryan Snowden's school record of 25 and ranks as the longest active streak in the NCAA.

Fifth-year senior Bryan Roberts took over on the mound in the bottom of the eighth and worked out of jams in the both the eighth and ninth innings, leaving an OSU runner in scoring position. The Lisle, Ill., native, who has a 0.63 ERA in 14.1 innings pitched, allowed his first run of the year in the 10th and dropped to 3-1 with his first loss.

In a 20-minute top of the first that began UI's longest game of three hours and 22 minutes, Illinois capitalized on a pair of leadoff walks and jumped ahead 3-0. Junior Thomas Lindauer and sophomore Michael Hurwitz each walked and moved to second and third, respectively, on a double steal. Redshirt-junior Jordan Parr notched a hit for a sixth-straight game, singling home Lindauer to get the Illini on the board. With two outs, sophomore David Kerian singled up the middle and plated Hurwitz and Jordan Parr, giving him 31 RBI, second-most on the Illini.

OSU got a run across with an RBI single in the first and tied the game at three apiece on an RBI double and an RBI groundout in the second. The Buckeyes took a 4-3 lead on a solo home run in the third. Illinois tied the game back up with two outs in the fourth when freshman Jason Goldstein extended his career-high hitting streak to 12 games with an RBI single that scored senior Davis Hendrickson, who finished 2-for-5 and increased his season average to .300.

Illinois retook the lead in the top of the fifth on an RBI double by Hohl which brought home Jordan Parr, who singled to start the inning and stole second. The Illini weren't in front for long, as Ohio State took advantage of a leadoff error at first and sent a pair of unearned runs across the plate to go ahead 6-5 after five innings.

Sophomore starter John Kravetz received his fifth no decision of the year after pitching 2.2 innings and allowing four earned runs. Freshman Kevin Duchene tossed three innings and struck out four while giving up the two unearned runs. Redshirt-sophomore Drasen Johnson pitched to one batter and struck him out to end the sixth. Freshman Tyler Jay kept the contest tied with a scoreless seventh.

Up Next: Illinois will try to win the series on Sunday in the rubber game at 11 a.m. CT, which will be aired live on the Big Ten Network. Freshman Ryan Castellanos will start for the Illini against Buckeye left-hander Brian King.