Illinois State surrenders early lead, falls to Illinois
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[April 18, 2012] CHAMPAIGN
-- Despite an early 5-0 lead, Illinois State gave up seven
unanswered runs, and Illinois beat the Redbirds 7-5 Tuesday
evening at Illinois Field. ISU fell to 20-13, and the Fighting
Illini improved to 19-16.
"Not a good enough performance by our team today," Illinois State
head coach Mark Kingston said. "We got off to the 5-0 lead, but then
I thought the quality of our at-bats started to disappear. We
weren't good enough out of the bullpen and we have to be better than
Zac Johnson led Illinois State with a 2-for-3 effort, including
three RBIs and one run scored. He belted a two-run home run in the
first inning to put ISU ahead. Jeremy Rhoades (3-2) suffered the
loss after giving up three runs on five hits and striking out four
over 2 1-3 frames of relief. Illinois' Drasen Johnson (1-0) earned the
win after pitching 5 1-3 shutout innings, with four strikeouts.
Ty Wiesemeyer collected the game's first hit with a one-out single
in the first inning, and Johnson followed with a two-run homer over
the left-field wall. The Redbirds extended their advantage in the
second with three more runs. Mike Hollenbeck led off with a walk,
and Matt Mirabal drove him home with a double. Later in the inning,
Wiesemeyer walked with the bases loaded to force home Brett Kay.
Then, a sacrifice fly by Johnson allowed Bryan Huff to score. After
1.5 innings, ISU led 5-0.
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But the Fighting Illini responded with two runs in the second
and two more in the fourth to pull within 5-4. With two outs in
the sixth inning, Willie Argo tied the game with an RBI single,
and Justin Parr gave the Illini the lead with another
RBI single. A final RBI single by Brandon Hohl lifted Illinois
in front for good 7-5. The Illini pitching staff teamed up to
hold the Redbirds scoreless, with just three hits through the
final seven innings.
With Illinois State's four-game road stretch complete, the
Redbirds return to Duffy Bass Field this weekend for a
three-game Missouri Valley Conference series against Bradley.
First pitch Friday is scheduled for 4:30 p.m., with free
admission to all games played at home this season.
news release received from John Twork, athletics
communications, Illinois State University]