First of all, let me get this out of the way:
Yessss! All Right!! WOW! Way to go, Illini! Woo hoo! I-L-L, I-N-I!!
Sunday’s scoreboard shows the incredible comeback by the Illini
Yes, the Illini won today. In a must-win game in order to go on to the Big Ten tournament, the University of Illinois baseball team did not give up despite being down by seven runs in the bottom of the fifth. They kept pecking away at the lead until finally the game was theirs. Kudos to all of the team members for a job well done against a very tough Michigan State team.
With the Illini down 7-0 in the bottom of the fifth, it was Nick Stockwell who gave us some hope. With two out, two runners on and a two strike count, Stockwell cranked a ball over the left field fence that hit the scoreboard. That made it 7-3 MSU.
Lars Davis was key to the comeback with 2 homeruns and 3 rbis
A homerun by Lars Davis and a rbi single by Shawn Roof scoring Mike Rohde in the bottom of the sixth made it 7-5. In the seventh, a base hit by Kyle Hudson, a triple by Brandon Wikoff and yes, another home run by Lars Davis made it 8-7 which end up the final score.
Reliever Jake Toohey allowed no runs in 4 1/3 IP
But, wait a minute, what were the Spartans doing all this time? Well, I’m not going any further in this article without talking about Jake Toohey, Illinois’ stopper in the bullpen, and his role in this game. Sunday, Toohey redefined the definition of a closer as he came in with two outs in the fifth… and closed the game out for the Illini. For the record, he scattered 5 hits and 3 walks over 4 1/3 innings and allowed NO runs for the win. Ice that arm, Jake. We’re going to need it in the tournament.
Yes, the tournament. That sounds so sweet.
The Big Ten tournament starts in three days. The boys have a practice day in Ann Arbor on Tuesday.
And I already have my train ticket reserved.
By the way, here are the photos I took at Sunday’s game.