The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871

The Daily Illini

The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871

The Daily Illini

The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871

The Daily Illini

The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871

The Daily Illini

Illinois baseball eliminated from NCAA Tournament

Photo Courtesy of Illini Athletics
Illinois baseball players in the dugout before a game on March 30. The team has been eliminated from the NCAA Tournament after losing to Indiana State 13-2 today.

Illinois baseball suffered a 13-2 defeat against Indiana State today in the NCAA Tournament Lexington Regional. The loss was Illinois’ second in the regional, eliminating them from tournament play. 

The loss came after the Illini beat the Sycamores 4-1 in the first round of the tournament on Friday, but subsequently took a 6-1 loss against the Kentucky Wildcats yesterday. 

Today’s game started out slow, similar to the two teams’ matchup on Friday, with both remaining scoreless through two innings. Sophomore left-hander Sam Reed started on the mound for the Illini.

In the third inning, Indiana State picked it up rapidly, scoring 7 runs on 6 hits. Sycamores junior infielder Randal Diaz hit a single with the bases loaded, allowing their senior outfielder Adam Pottinger to score. Then, their senior outfielder Parker Stinson doubled to right, allowing their freshman infielder Riley Iffrig and senior infielder Josue Urdaneta to score, giving the Sycamores a 3-0 lead with runners on second and third.

Illinois made a pitching change to attempt to close out the inning, putting freshman left hander Regan Hall on the bump. Hall walked the second batter he faced, loading the bases, and then hit Indiana State’s senior outfielder Dominic Listi with a pitch, putting the Sycamores up 4-0 with the bases still loaded.

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With only one out, Sycamores’ senior catcher Grant Magill grounded out to third, allowing Stinson to score. Then, Pottinger hit a single to right, bringing home both Listi and their senior infielder Mike Sears, bringing the tally to 7-0. Urdenata singled to right, but the Illini defense got Pottinger out at home to pick up a third out and end the inning.

Hall began the fourth hitting Diaz with a pitch and then picking up a strikeout. But after the Sycamores junior catcher Luis Hernandez singled to right and put runners on first and second, Illinois decided to make another pitching change, this time putting redshirt sophomore Ben Plumley on the mound. The Illini defense then made a double play to end the inning.

Plumley gave up no runs on zero hits with a strikeout in the fifth, but Indiana State extended their lead to 8-0 in the sixth when Hernandez homered to left. Plumley picked up a strikeout to end the sixth inning and put the Illini back on offense.

The score didn’t change until the bottom of the seventh, when Illinois redshirt senior infielder Brody Harding singled to right with the bases loaded, scoring redshirt senior Jacob Schroeder and cutting the deficit to 8-1. The inning ended, however, after junior infielder Coltin Quagliano grounded into a double play.

Illinois made another pitching change in the eighth, putting in senior right hander Will Lavin, but after Indiana State loaded the bases, Illinois put in redshirt senior right hander Joe Glassey. But the pitching change did not slow down the strong hitting performance by the Sycamores — Sears, the first batter Glassey faced after getting to the mound, hit a grand slam to center field, increasing their already large lead to 12-1. 

In the ninth, Indiana State’s Iffrig doubled to right, allowing Magill to score, and bringing the tally to 13-1. Glassey then picked up two strikeouts to put the Illini offense back at the plate. 

Down twelve with three outs to play, junior outfielder Ryan Moerman homered to center in the final frame, cutting the deficit to 13-2, but Indiana State picked up a quick two to finish their dominant performance and eliminate Illinois from the NCAA Tournament.

Indiana State must now beat Kentucky in back to back games to advance to the NCAA Super Regional. 


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