Indiana Drops Doubleheader at Illinois
May 12, 2007
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - The Indiana baseball team (17-32, 6-20 Big Ten) dropped a doubleheader against Illinois (27-22, 13-12) at Illinois Field on Saturday. U of I took the opener, 3-0, and scored four in the sixth for the second straight day to win the nightcap, 5-2.
IU used a little smallball and executed flawlessly to score its first run of the doubleheader in the second inning of game two. After junior designated hitter Reid Briglia was hit by a pitch, freshman first baseman Brad Henke poked a single into right field on a hit and run to advance Briglia to third. Sophomore third baseman Billy O'Conner then laid down a perfect safety squeeze, and Briglia raced home for a quick 1-0 Hoosier lead.
Indiana struck again in the third, as freshman shortstop Evan Crawford drilled a ground-rule double over the wall in left-center field. Freshman left fielder Sterling Mack moved Crawford to third with a groundout to second base, and senior second baseman Keith Haas brought him home with a sacrifice fly.
Hoosier starter Matt Bashore (4-6) faced the minimum before left fielder Joe Bonadonna doubled into right-center field with one out in the third. Two batters later, Bonadonna swiped third and scored the Illini's first run on a single off the bat of right fielder Ryan Snowden to make it 2-1.
Third baseman Brandon Wikoff extended the rally when he delivered a base hit and moved to second on sophomore center fielder Andrew Means' throw to third. However, Bashore escaped any further damage by getting catcher Lars Davis on a weaker grounder back to the mound.
Neither team could dent the scoreboard again until the Fighting Illini reeled off six straight two-out singles in the sixth. Designated hitter Daniel Webb, shortstop Shawn Roof and second baseman Ryan Hastings recorded run-scoring hits, and Roof closed out the four-run rally scoring on a wild pitch to give Illinois the final 5-2 margin.
The Hoosiers loaded the bases with two outs in the seventh, but Illini reliever Jake Toohey retired Haas to close out the game and grab his sixth save of the season.
Illinois starter Scott Shaw (5-3) went six innings, giving up two runs on five hits with no walks and a pair of punchouts. Bashore allowed four earned on seven hits over 5 2/3 innings.
Crawford led the Hoosiers offensively, recording three hits in four at-bats with one run and a stolen base.
In the opener, all the scoring took place in the first two innings as Illinois earned a 3-0 victory. Hoosiers starter Tyler Tufts (3-8) picked up his team-leading fifth complete game, but Illini starter Mike Stankiewicz was a little better.
Stankiewicz secured his first shutout of the season, scattering six hits, walking one batter and striking out one. Tufts surrendered just two earned runs and gave up eight hits, two bases on balls and struck out a pair.
The Fighting Illini grabbed a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first on a RBI single by first baseman Mike Rohde and could have had more if not for the glove work of freshman shortstop Evan Crawford. With runners on the corners, the Reynoldsburg, Ohio, native made a nice backhanded stop and flipped to senior second baseman Keith Haas to start an inning-ending 6-4-3 twin-killing.
Indiana carried that momentum into the next half-inning, loading the bases with one down. However, Stankiewicz retired freshman catcher Josh Phegley and freshman left fielder Sterling Mack to keep the Hoosiers off the board.
A passed ball and a balk helped the Illini put a pair on the board in the second. Shortstop Shawn Roof scored the first run of the inning on a dropped third strike and Tufts' balk advanced right fielder Nick Stockwell to second, where he scored on a single by center fielder Kyle Hudson.
The Hoosiers stranded two more in the third and put men on first and third with no body out in the fifth after a Mack double and Haas single. Crawford then ripped a rocket right at Rohde, who stepped on first for a double play. Stankiewicz retired sophomore center fielder Andrew Means on a line drive to left field to escape the inning and keep it a 3-0 game.
Tufts settled down and kept the Illini at bay after the second. Illinois threatened just once more, in the fifth, as the first two runners reached base. Tufts induced Rohde into a 4-6-3 double play and forced designated hitter Daniel Webb to ground out, but IU could not take advantage as Stankiewicz set down the final eight Hoosiers in order.
The teams return to the diamond tomorrow afternoon for the series finale, which is slated to kick off at 2:05 p.m. ET.
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