Illini Drop Series Opener To Penn State, 8-1


April 30, 2004

Champaign, Ill. - The University of Illinois baseball team sat through a one hour and 45 minute rain delay only to drop an 8-1 decision in its series opener to Penn State at Illinois Field on a rainy Friday evening. The loss drops Illinois to 16-22 on the year and 7-0 in the Big Ten. Penn State improves to 21-18 overall and 10-7 in Conference play.

Penn State had jumped to a 5-0 lead after 11/2 innings, having chased starter Joe Ziemba in favor of Brandon Murphy, when the rain that had been predicted started falling at Illinois Field. But with predictions for rain lasting throughout the weekend, the two teams waited through a one hour and 45 minute rain delay before resuming play at 9 p.m.

Penn State quickly added a pair of runs, one each in the top of the third and fourth, before Illinois finally got on the board off PSU starter Jim Farrell in the fifth.

In that frame Vince DiMaria sent a two-out single to left, and Trevor Huisinga followed with a double to deep left that allowed DiMaria to come in from second and move the score to 7-1 in favor of Penn State.

Penn State added a single run in the eighth to open an 8-1 lead.

Ziemba suffered the loss to fall to 1-7 on the year, having allowed five runs on five hits (and two home runs) in 1 1/3 innings. He walked two and struck out one. Murphy followed, allowing just three runs on eight hits in a career-high 7 2/3 innings of work while walking two and striking out a career-high six.

PSU starter Farrell got the win, moving to 3-7 on the year, after allowing one run on four hits in seven innings of work. He walked two and struck out three.

Illinois and Penn State are scheduled to continue their four-game series with a doubleheader Saturday at 4:05 p.m. First pitch for Sunday's series finale is at 11:30 a.m.