Illini Set To Take On Field At Louisville Tournament
Feb. 26, 2001
LOUISVILLE, Ky. -
Jones looking at win no. 1,100 -- Illinois Head Coach Richard `Itch' Jones, one of NCAA Division I's winningest coaches of all-time needs only one more win to reach 1,100 for his career. Jones' record entering this weekend is 1,099-624-5. Only 22 coaches had reached the 1,000 win plateau all-time, and only 16 have won 1,100.
Illinois take home Illini Desert Classic crown -- Illinois won the inaugural Illini Desert Classic Feb. 22-25 at the Arizona Diamondbacks spring training complex in Tucson, Ariz. Illinois posted a 2-1 record over the weekend with wins over Washington and BYU and a loss to Kentucky. Illinois won the title by virtue of its head-to-head win over Washington, as the Huskies also posted a 2-1 record over the weekend.
Illinois opened tournament play with a 7-1 win over BYU. Andy Dickinson threw a complete game and four Illini had two hits as Illinois picked up its first win of the season. The Washington game was next, and Illinois took 12 innings to defeat the Huskies, 10-9. Reilly Smith threw seven solid innings of relief and Matt Vorwald held the Huskies scoreless over the final 2 2/3 until Illinois was able to load the bases in the bottom of the 12th and win on a Washington error. In the final game of the tournament, Illinois lost to Kentucky, 6-2, despite solid pitching outings from starter Josh Gold (6.0 IP, 2 earned runs) and Dave Mazurek.
Dickinson throws complete game -- Junior lefthander Andy Dickinson worked to solidify his role as staff ace by throwing a complete game to defeat BYU, 7-1, in the first game of the Illini Desert Classic. Despite scattering nine hits, Dickinson allowed only one unearned run while walking two and striking out four. His career record now stands at 9-4.
Freshmen continue to make impact-- A number of newcomers are making an everyday impact in this year's line-up. Second baseman Chad Frk has started every game this season and is hitting .333 with three RBI. Andy Hilligoss started all three games at shortstop in Arizona and is hitting .364 in addition to flawless play in the field. And freshman righthander Reilly Smith threw seven strong innings in relief against Washington, holding the Huskies to three hits and three runs (two earned) with six K's until Illinois could rally to tie and eventually win the game in the bottom of the 12th.