It was a tight game but Coastal Carolina ended up on the winning side on Sunday. They edged Illinois 5-4 on the last day of the Coastal Carolina Invitational.
Matt Milroy pitched fantastically in relief, striking out a career high six and allowing just one run. He took over the pitching duties in the fifth inning relieving John Kravetz. Kravetz only allowed two hits on Sunday but Illini errors and walks contributed to a CCU early 3-0 lead.
The Illini offense woke up and managed to score two in the fifth inning on three hits and some creative defense on Coastal’s part. Illinois tied it up in sixth inning when Reid Roper doubled and Davis Hendrickson’s base hit drove him home.
Unfortunately, CCU wasn’t done. The next half inning, they scored on a simple hit,steal and a hit. A tough loss for Milroy who it seems had one of his best outings ever.
Jordan Parr keeps managing to show up in these wrap-ups. Sunday, he hit his second homerun of the year. For the game, he was 2 for 3. Kelly Norris-Jones went 2 for 4. Reid Roper’s double is his second for the year.
It’s a shame the two games couldn’t get played on Saturday. One, the momentum from Friday’s Kevin Johnson-spurred victory could have really helped. And probably more importantly, this young team needs to get all the games in it can before the conference season starts.
All in all, from where I stand here in Urbana, I’m seeing improvement. It hit home when I saw the headline on fightingillini.com. “Illini See Win Streak Snapped”, it said. See? We had a win streak. Maybe it was only three games but it was a win streak nonetheless. A lot better off than where we were when we lost four of the first five games, right?
This weekend, the Illini will head north (if you can believe it) to Eugene, Oregon for the Nike College Showcase. This will test Illinois’ mettle. Among their opponents will be #9 Oregon and #28 Oregon State.