Hoosiers Headed for Sunday Rubber Match
April 7, 2012
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - For the third time in as many Big Ten series this season, Indiana Baseball is headed for a Sunday rubber match. The Hoosiers (14-17, 5-3 Big Ten) dropped Game Two, 7-3, to the Fighting Illini of Illinois (16-12, 2-3).
Justin Cureton put IU up 1-0 immediately by leading off the game with a solo homerun. Kyle Schwarber drilled the ball as well, clearing an out-stretched mitt of from Illinois right fielder for a two-bagger. A flared single by Michael Basil notched the second run of the inning, scoring Schwarber.
A walk, single and fielding error loaded the bases for Illinois in the home half of the first. It got even tighter when Kyle Hart fell behind 3-1 to the next batter. He didn't flinch, however, firing a pair of fastballs to punch him out and preserve the 2-0 Hoosier lead.
Illinois charged back two innings later, beginning the bottom of third with four consecutive singles. Add in an outfield error for IU, and it resulted in a 4-2 edge for the Fighting Illini.
Small ball was the name of the game for Illinois in the sixth, laying down a sac bunt and executing a hit-and-run to plate two more runs and increase their lead to 6-2.
Collin McEnery made a pinch-hit appearance in the seventh, ripping a single. Unfortunately, his base knock was ruined up by impressive 3-6-1 double play pulled off by Illinois to end the inning. It was one of three doubles plays performed by the Fighting Illini.
Indiana exchanged lone runs in the bottom of the seventh and top of the eighth to create the final score of 7-3.
It's a bit of déjà vu for the Hoosier, having won Friday and lost Saturday during the first two Big Ten weekends as well. Indiana hopes the trend of taking the rubber matches continues as well. First pitch is set for 1:05 pm local (2:05 pm EST).
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