Illini Come Up Short to Mizzou at Busch Stadium, 5-2
April 23, 2014
ST. LOUIS - Illinois (22-15) couldn't get the bats going on Wednesday night at Busch Stadium, falling 5-2 to Missouri (19-21) and snapping its four-game winning streak. The Tigers only mustered five hits and two of their five runs were unearned, while the Illini had six hits, led by freshman Ryne Roper who went 2-for-3.
"This is always a great experience to play at a big league ballpark, but we didn't get our jobs done tonight," head coach Dan Hartleb said. "We had advantage counts and didn't put good swings on pitches. We didn't have a very composed night at the plate. We need to get deeper in counts and get their pitch total up. We made some mistakes and will need to be better on Friday."
After a scoreless first, both teams pushed a run across in the second. Mizzou loaded the bases but only managed one run on a 6-4-3 double play. Sedlock ended the stanza with a strikeout looking. The Illini answered with an RBI single in the bottom half by Ryne Roper that plated sophomore Ryan Nagle.
Sedlock, who notched a career-high seven punch outs, struck out the side swinging in the third and the Illini went down in order in the frame. The Tigers pushed two unearned runs across in the fourth. After an error on a dropped third strike and a one-out walk, Mizzou turned in an RBI double and an RBI groundout to take a 3-1 lead.
Sophomore Nick Blackburn replaced Sedlock in the fifth, where Mizzou smacked a two-out, two-run double for a 5-1 advantage. Sophomore J.D. Nielsen worked a perfect sixth on three groundouts and redshirt-sophomore Charlie Naso breezed through the seventh with two strikeouts and a fly out.
Illinois scored its second and final run on an RBI groundout in the bottom of the seventh. Redshirt-junior Reid Roper fired a leadoff double down the right field line, advanced to third on Nagle's fly out to center and came home on junior Casey Fletcher's grounder to second.
Senior Luke Joyce notched a 1-2-3 inning in the eighth and senior Ronnie Muck followed suit in the ninth. The Illini went down in order in the final two innings. Reliever Peter Fairbanks (4-4) threw eight innings and earned the win, while Sedlock (1-3) was pinned with the loss.
Sophomore Adam Walton saw his career-high 18-game hitting streak come to an end after finishing 0-for-4.
Up Next: Illinois will host first-place Indiana for a three-game series between the top two teams in the Big Ten at Illinois Field this weekend (April 25-27).