Hoosiers Unable to Stop Fighting Illini
May 13, 2007
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Closing out its final Big Ten road series of 2007, the Indiana baseball team could not overcome a three-run Illinois first and fell 7-2 on Sunday afternoon at Illinois Field. IU is now 17-33 overall and 6-21 in the Big Ten, while U of I sits at 28-22 and 14-12 in league play.
After the Hoosiers left men on second and third with one out in the top of the first, the Fighting Illini made them pay in the bottom half of the inning. Right-hander Eric Arnett (2-2) retired the first two batters he faced before Illinois loaded the bases for shortstop Shawn Roof, who was hit by the first pitch he saw to make it 1-0. Second baseman Ryan Hastings then delivered a two-run single into right field to give the Illini a three-run cushion.
Indiana found its way into the scoring column in the third. As he did in the opening frame, junior designated hitter Jon Fixler stepped to the plate with two men in scoring position. This time he came through with a two-out, two-run base hit over the head of Hastings to cut the U of I lead to 3-2.
Following the Illini's first, Arnett surrendered just one hit until the home half of the fifth. Illinois chased him from the game in the inning after netting three unearned runs to extend its advantage to 6-2.
The Fighting Illini tacked on one more run in the seventh for the final margin.
IU could not muster any offense against Brian Long (1-3), who entered in the fourth inning for starter Kevin Mason. The right-hander allowed two baserunners and retired 15 of the 17 batters he faced to secure his first win of the season. Right-hander Omar Kadir came in and pitched a 1-2-3 ninth.
Senior second baseman Keith Haas went 2-for-4 with one run, while freshman shortstop Evan Crawford and sophomore center fielder Andrew Means each recorded a stolen base.
Illini catcher Lars Davis finished the afternoon 2-for-4 with an RBI and a run. Additionally, Hastings and Roof both drove in a pair.
The Hoosiers return to action on Tuesday afternoon at Valparaiso. First pitch is set for 4 p.m. ET against the Crusaders.
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