Davis Hendrickson drove home the sole run in today’s loss
In an elimination game against Minnesota at the Big Ten Tournament, Illinois (34-18) couldn’t hold on to a slim lead and lost 3-1 and will have to say goodbye to Minneapolis.
Ryan Castellanos was a hard luck loser as he allowed only eight baserunners in five innings. The Gophers capitalized on a one-out rally in which they scored all three of their runs.
|Game #52 / May 24, 2013|
Once again, Illinois scored first and once again, they were helped by their opposition’s defense. A throwing error by the Minnesota shortstop led to a single run in the second inning as Davis Hendrickson drove home the first run of the game.
The three-run rally in the fourth by the Gophers changed the tune of the game and Illinois never managed to put two hits in inning after that.
The bottom three in the lineup, Reid Roper, Hendrickson and Kelly Norris-Jones provided the most offense. Combined, they were 5 for 10. Unfortunately, that didn’t translate into too many runs for the good guys.
Here are highlights from today’s game on YouTube via IlliniProductionsHD:
Big Ten Watch
Illinois becomes the second team to depart from the Tourney after Michigan left Minneapolis yesterday being the victims of Illinois themselves. Who’s left?
#1 seed Indiana and #2 seed Ohio State remain unbeaten while #3 seed Nebraska and #4 seed Minnesota are both hanging in there with one loss each. That won’t last long as the Huskers and the Gophers are playing right now and one of those two teams will advance and the other will just go home.
Tonight, it’s the Battle of the Best as the two top seeded teams, Indiana and Ohio State will play.
I’m not making any predictions but so far it seems that the Tournament is playing out like it “should”. Top seeded teams are doing well and the bottom seeded teams are getting eliminated.
Once again, here are the Big Ten Tournament links:
What’s Next for the Illini?
Coach Hartleb holds out hope that the Illini will be chosen next Monday to move on to NCAA Tournament despite the early departure from the conference tournament:
"It’s disappointing, but we hope to live another day. I feel we truly deserve to be in the NCAA Tournament."
With so many quality teams in the conference, the chances might be slim but one can hope. One thing Illinois does have in its corner is its overall record (34-18). It’s the second best among the Big Ten Tournament competitors. It’s better than Minnesota, better than Nebraska and even better than #2 seed Ohio State.
The NCAA Tournament Selection will be announced Monday at 11am during the NCAA Tournament Selection Show.
Good luck on Monday, Illini!
Tags: big ten tournament, coach hartleb, Davis Hendrickson, kelly norris-jones, minnesota, reid roper, ryan castellanos