One Run the Difference Again in 13-12 Loss at Illinois
May 21, 2011
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - For the second day in a row, the Indiana University baseball team came up one run shy in a tight loss to Illinois. Game two was a wild one that included four lead changes, 29 hits and 25 runs scored as the Fighting Illini came out on top, 13-12.
The 2011 senior class did all it could to lead IU to victory, combining to go 10-for-23 with eight runs batted in and six runs scored. Wes Wilson racked up a half dozen RBI on the day, the first Hoosier to do so since Tyler Rogers against Michigan last season. Fellow seniors Alex Dickerson, Brian Lambert and Jerrud Sabourin posted multi-hit games as well.
Four defensive errors, three unearned runs and eight free passes (six walks, two HBPs) doomed the Hoosiers Friday night.
Indiana exploded for four runs in the top of the first. The Hoosiers pounded groundball after groundball through the Illini infield. Lambert closed out the scoring with his two-run single up the gut for 4-0 lead.
Illinois scored three runs on just one hit in the bottom half, taking advantage of three walks issued by the Hoosiers.
The Hoosiers kept pounding Illinois' John Anderson the following inning. A two-run bomb by Micah Johnson gave IU the 6-3 lead and chased Anderson out of the game.
Illinois' second inning was the opposite of the first, managing just one run despite banging out four hits in the frame. Jonny Hoffman came in from the pen and induced a bases-loaded groundball to end the inning with IU still leading 6-4.
Five more Illini hits resulted in another crooked number on the scoreboard, plating three runs for their first lead of the ballgame at 7-6.
Both teams went quietly in the fourth, being retired 1-2-3. Michael Basil ended the short scoring drought in the fifth, connecting for his fifth dinger of the season. His solo shot pulled IU back even at 7-7.
Defensive dysfunction returned for IU in the home half, botching two errors and allowing a pair of unearned runs to go along with two of the earned variety for an 11-7 Illini edge. Matt Carr took the mound next and struck out the first batter to close the wound. He kept rolling through the next two innings, totaling five Ks and allowing the Hoosiers to get back into the game.
Sixth-inning base hits by Johnson and Sabourin provided Wilson with two ducks on the pond. Wilson brought everyone around on a towering blast to left field, cutting the IU deficit to 11-10.
In the eighth, Indiana caught a break. With two outs, Dickerson hit a groundball down the first base line and looked be tagged by the pitcher for the third out of the inning. The tag never touched him, however, and his single extended the inning. Sabourin followed with a double for two runners in scoring position. Wilson dug in next, driving in his 5th and 6th RBI of the contest for a 12-11 lead.
Another errant throw from IU swung the pendulum back in motion. Illinois tallied two runs, one earned and one unearned in the bottom of the eighth to regain a 13-12 advantage.
Brian Ritz pinch hit in the top of the ninth and sent a pitch for a ride all the way to the warning track in straight-away center field. If stroked to any other part of the ballpark, it was likely a tie ball game. The next Hoosier was retired as well and Illinois snuck out with the second straight one-run triumph.
Penn State and Indiana are tied for the sixth spot in the conference standings heading into the final game of the regular season. The top six teams advance to the Big Ten Tournament next week in Columbus, Ohio. First pitch between IU and UI is slated for 1:05 pm central (2:05 EST) on Saturday.
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