Illinois Falls in Finale to #24 Indiana, 11-3 (8)

Freshman Ryne Roper hit his first career triple in the loss to Indiana on Sunday.
Freshman Ryne Roper hit his first career triple in the loss to Indiana on Sunday.

April 27, 2014

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CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Illinois led 3-2 after three innings, but No. 24 Indiana scored the final nine runs to take the finale, 11-3, and series victory on Sunday in a game that was called after eight innings. The Illini held their sixth-annual Bleacher Bum Barbecue and had the fifth-best crowd in school history with 3,185 fans at Illinois Field. Illinois (23-17) remained tied for second in the Big Ten with Nebraska at 10-5, while Indiana (27-13) moved three games ahead in first place at 13-2.

"We were outplayed in all three aspects today," head coach Dan Hartleb said. "We lost two games this weekend and got beat by a good team, but it wasn't a situation where we played with fear or didn't compete. There were some positives to take away. I thought our guys played hard all weekend, so I was pleased with that as well."

After one pitch was thrown in the top of the ninth, an hour-and-34-minute rain delay began before the game was eventually called at 5 p.m.

With the wind blowing out 20 mph to left, Indiana took a 2-0 lead in the first with a two-run homer, just under the scoreboard in left. After both teams went scoreless in the second, Illinois jumped in front 3-2 with three runs in the third.

Junior Casey Fletcher was drilled to begin the third and freshman Ryne Roper followed with his first career RBI triple to left center. Junior Michael Hurwitz also was hit by a pitch and junior Will Krug tied it up with an RBI single through the left side. Following a fielder's choice, sophomore Ryan Nagle gave Illinois the lead with an RBI groundout.

Both teams came up empty in the fourth and the Hoosiers retook the lead with four runs in the fifth. Kyle Schwarber connected on a two-run single and Sam Travis hit IU's second two-run homer to make it 6-3. Sophomore J.D. Nielsen replaced starter Ryan Castellanos and recorded three outs in the frame, capped off by Fletcher throwing out an IU runner at home.

Freshman Cody Sedlock relieved Nielsen and worked a scoreless sixth. He gave up two unearned runs on a two-out single in seventh, which gave Indiana an 8-3 advantage. The Hoosiers pushed across a sacrifice fly and two more unearned runs in the eighth, making it 11-3.

Krug singled through the left side in the eighth, ending Illinois' hitless streak since the third and marking UI's third and final hit in the game.

Up Next: Illinois will play Southern Illinois on Tuesday at Illinois Field at 6 p.m.