Fisher, Illinois baseball takes weekend series against Maryland


Illinois infielder Michael Massey takes a swing at the ball in the Illini’s Big Ten home opener against Iowa on March 30.

By Tatiania Perry, Staff writer

The Illinois baseball team continued in Big Ten play this weekend, traveling to College Park to play Maryland.

The teams opted for a doubleheader on Friday and one game Sunday to avoid the cold weather on Saturday.

As expected, Bren Spillane started the 10-6 win in the first game. The Perfect Game Midseason National Player of the Year hit an RBI double in the first inning to put the first runs on the board. Spillane entered the week tied for the national lead in homers, with 14, and second in batting average with .494.

However, it was the fifth inning that was the hottest for the Illini, as Zac Taylor stepped up to the plate and hit a grand slam.

Following that, Doran Turchin hit a solo shot to extend Illinois’ lead.

All 10 runs came on five extra-base hits: Taylor’s and Turchin’s homers, as well as doubles from Spillane and Michael Massey.

Andy Fisher had his longest outing of the season, going eight innings.

“I had much more of a relaxed approach than I’ve had my past few starts,” Fisher said. “And it’s kind of what I did all summer with the Northwoods League, so it was nice to get back to that.”

In his start, Fisher allowed just three runs on eight hits and struck out five, retiring 13 of the last 15 batters he faced.

Roughly 30 minutes after the conclusion of the first game, the teams took their places once again.

Although this time around, the Illini fell to the Terrapins 7-1.

“The biggest thing with Maryland is that they were going to be very aggressive right away,” Fisher said.

Maryland’s Justin Morris slammed a three-run homer off the light pole, widenin g the lead that the Terrapin had already created. The Illini were held scoreless for the first six innings, as Maryland took a six-run lead.

Grant Van Scoy finally put the Illini on the board in thetop of the seventh with an RBI groundout. However, Maryland closed the game out with an extra run for the 7-1 finish. 

“We’re not too worried about tonight’s loss; we know that we are going to come back and plan on winning,” Fisher said.

In the final matchup Sunday, the Illini were on the board, scoring in the fourth inning.

Ben Troike singled to be the first on-base in the inning. Later, a Massey single into left and two drawn walks by Doran Turchin and Michael Michalak led to Troike coming around the bases to score. 

Sophomore Ty Weber’s start at the mound kept the Terrapins scoreless for five and a half innings before being subbed out by Ryan Thompson.

Maryland took the lead on a bases-loaded HBP.

The Illini were able to tie the game back up in the seventh after Grant Van Scoy singled and brought Michalak home.

With three walks and two sac flies, the Illini scored twice in the eighth without recording a hit, to bump the score to 4-2.

Joey Gerber relieved Thompson in the ninth to finish out the game. The junior struck out the Terrapins’ batter with the bases loaded to secure the Illini win.

Illinois will take on Illinois State on Tuesday at 6 p.m. at Illinois Field.


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