Jordan and Justin Parr: brothers tied for team lead in extra base hits with 12
The Illini didn’t quite pull it off at the Battle of Busch against Missouri. They got a quick 3-1 lead in the first but Mizz pecked away at it till it was 5-3. Relievers Ronnie Muck and Reid Roper did a superb job keeping Illinois in the game. Muck pitched three scoreless innings and struck out four Tigers in the process. Roper scored a run on a wild pitch in the eighth making it 5-4 then pitched a scoreless ninth inning.
Illinois did manage to get the winning run to the plate in the bottom of the ninth when Tom Shelton reached on an error. A double play and strikeout later, the game was over and Missouri claimed victory 5-4.
Illinois has bigger fish to fry at this point. This weekend, they take on #18 Purdue. At the top of the standings in the Big Ten, this Purdue series will be big for Illinois. Pitching announcements have been made for Friday and Saturday as per Fightingillini.com’s weekend preview. Kevin Johnson (5-2) will go in the initial game and John Kravetz (5-2) will take on the Boilermakers on Saturday. Sunday’s pitcher is TBA. I’m wondering if the Coaches are deciding to give Matt Milroy a try.
A quick rundown on the Purdue Boilermakers:
#18 Purdue Boilermakers
|April 13, 2012||3 pm CT|
|April 14, 2012||1 pm CT|
|April 15, 2012||12 noon CT|
|Lambert Field||West Lafayette, IN|
|Program website link||2012 Record 25-5 (7-2 Big Ten)|
|Head Coach: Doug Schreiber||Key player: Cameron Perkins (.387, 35 rbis)|
At #18, Purdue represents the Big Ten in the national rankings- they’re the sole conference who are ranked at the moment. As well they should be. They’re still in single digits in losses with a pretty incredible 25-5 overall record. Some wondered if they’re preseason success would transfer to the Big Ten conference season. Indeed it has. They are atop the Big Ten standings with a 7-2 mark and don’t show any signs of slowing down. They’ve won their last five and nine of their last ten games.
The disparity between Purdue and their opponents is quite wide. They’ve outdone whoever they played both offensively (BA .329 to opponents’ .249) and on the mound (ERA 3.17 to 6.35). Players to watch for Perkins, starting pitcher Lance Breedlove (5-2, 2.55 and Kevin Plawecki (.377 and tied for team high with Perkins with 33 runs).
I mentioned last week that SmilePolitely.com had asked me to do a weekly column on the Illini baseball team. My second column just got posted this morning if you don’t get enough of me already.
I enjoyed watching the Battle at Busch on the Big Ten Network. One thing puzzles me though. Why would they get players’ names wrong on the screen? Ok, I noticed it just once but it caught me by surprise. In this day and age when they can download rosters from the school program which are obviously correct that kind of thing should probably not happen. Ok, done with rant.