Trevor Huisinga led the Illini in his final game in the Orange and Blue, going 2-for-3 with two RBI and a run.
May 25, 2006
ANN ARBOR, Mich. - Illinois took a 5-4 lead with a three-run sixth inning, but Purdue scored four times in the seventh to take a lead it would never relinquish, winning 10-5 and eliminating the Illini from the Big Ten Tournament. Illinois' season ends despite a 2-for-4 effort with two RBI and a run by senior DH Trevor Huisinga, as well as two hits apiece from Lars Davis and Shawn Roof.
"Our bullpen was very disappointing today," Illinois coach Dan Hartleb said. "The offense did a great job of coming back and giving us the lead, but the bullpen went right back out and gave it up."
Purdue got on top early, scoring a pair in the first inning on two hits, a walk and an Illini error to take a 2-0 lead. The Boilermakers added one more in the fourth after a lead-off double by Neal Gorka, a sacrifice bunt and a sacrifice fly, pushing the Purdue lead to 3-0.
Illinois (29-29) fought back with two runs in the fourth when Mike Rohde drew a one-out walk. Davis singled through the right side as Rohde moved to third and Ryan Hastings followed with a base hit of his own through the right side, driving in Rohde and moving Davis to third. Huisinga then lifted a fly ball to center that was deep enough to score Davis and cut the Purdue lead to 3-2.
After giving up a run in the fifth, Illinois jumped on top with three runs in the sixth on four hits. Rohde laced a one-out single and moved to third on a base hit by Davis. Davis was put out on a fielder's choice grounder hit by Hastings, but Rohde was able to score. Huisinga then skied a ball to left that fell in over leftfielder Jordan Comadena's head for a double, driving in Hastings to tie the game. Joe Bonadonna finished the scoring with a single to right-center - his first hit since May 14 at Indiana - that drove in Huisinga and gave Illinois its first lead of the game, a 5-4 margin.
"(Starting pitcher) Tanner (Roark) battled and gave us six strong innings," Hartleb said. "He did a good job of working out of jams without giving up the big inning."
But Purdue took advantage of the Illinois bullpen, scoring four runs in the seventh off Illini relievers Brian Long and Jake Toohey. The Boilers put up five hits and took advantage of two Illinois errors to grab an 8-5 lead. Purdue tacked on single runs in the eighth and ninth innings, pushing the margin to 10-5.
Despite the Illini getting their lead-off batter on in the seventh and eighth innings, neither inning saw a run cross the plate and Purdue's lead held as the Boilers eliminated Illinois from the Big Ten Tournament for the second straight year.
"All year we have had good team chemistry and have played hard," Hartleb said. "Today was no different, and I appreciate the effort the whole team gave this year. We made strides with a young team and got some strong contributions from more experienced guys, but we're far from satisfied."
Hastings finished the game 1-for-4 with two RBI, a run and a steal, and Davis was 2-for-4 with a run. Rohde went 1-for-2 with two runs and Roof was 2-for-4. Roark went six innings, giving up four runs on nine hits while walking one and striking out one.