Illini drop first two against Mavericks

By Jason Grodsky

The Illinois baseball team suffered its second extra-inning loss of the young season Friday night in Arlington, Texas.

Illinois jumped out to an early 7-3 lead over host Texas-Arlington, but allowed the Mavericks to come back and tie the game in the bottom of the ninth on a solo home run by Texas-Arlington sophomore catcher Mitch Putman to send the game to extra innings.

The Mavericks put the game away in the bottom of the 11th inning with a bases-loaded sacrifice fly ball. The run gave the Mavericks a 8-7 game-one win. Senior outfielder Ryan Snowden led the Illini with three runs scored, while junior second baseman Ryan Hastings and sophomore infielder Joe Bonadonna each had two RBIs.

Illinois again jumped out on top of the Mavericks early in Saturday’s game, taking a 3-2 lead courtesy of two RBIs by freshman third baseman Brandon Wikoff in the first three innings.

But the Mavericks blew the game open in the bottom of the fifth and sixth innings, scoring four runs in the fifth inning against Illini starting pitcher Mike Stankiewicz and then tacking on five more runs in the sixth inning against Illini reliever Ben Reeser.

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Illinois would score runs in the sixth, eighth and ninth innings, but it wouldn’t be enough as the Illini dropped game two of the series 13-6.