After soundly defeating LSU 6-2 today, one has to wonder if Saturday’s 22-10 drubbing by the Tigers was just really bad dream.
Much kudos goes to starter Ben Reeser who was one out away from a 3-hit shutout. It was at that point, however, when the Tigers pumped some life back into the game. An Ochinko homerun and back-to-back doubles by Chris McGhee and Buzzy Haydel made it 6-2. Illini reliever then came in and promptly came in and struck out Nick Pontiff (who had a homerun earlier in the series) to close the game.
Despite the last minute dramatics, Ben Reeser did a fantastic job. Through the first eight innings, he only allowed three hits and struck out nine batters.
Offensively, Illinois picked away at the Tiger pitching. In the 3rd, three singles by Josh Parr, Joe Bonadonna, and Casey McMurray accounted for two runs. Bonadonna and McMurray paired up to account for another run in the 5th when Bonadonna doubled and Mac drove him home with a base knock.
Everything fell apart for LSU pitching in the 8th inning after back-to-back doubles by Brandon Wikoff and Dom Altobelli. After another base hit by Aaron Johnson, two Illini batters walked and another was hit by a pitch, bringing home two more runs for the Illini. Three more runs for us.
Big hitters for us today:
- Bonadonna: 2 for 5, 2B, 2 runs, rbi
- McMurray: 2 for 5, 2 rbis
- Altobelli: 2 for 5, 2B, run, rbi
- Johnson: 3 for 4, run
- Parr: 1 for 3, run, rbi
And in case you are wondering how Willie Argo did after his 3 for 3, 3 HR college debut yesterday, he went 0 for 4 with 3 Ks. He’s young and I’m sure he has a lot to learn. But boy, I’m really excited about this Davenport, IA native.
What does it mean to beat the #1 team 2 out of three? I’m really not sure. To be sure, baseball is the kind of game where anything can happen on any particular day. That said, this weekend has got to give the team a whole a lot of confidence that they can beat ANYBODY. This idea is bolstered by the fact that both Michigan and Ohio State have lost at least one game (Michigan to Wisconsin-Milwaukee and Jacksonville, Ohio State to Maine).
This Friday, the Illini are at home! We’ll be hosting the Akron Zips at Illinois Field. First game is on lucky Friday the 13th at 3pm.
See you at the ballpark!