Hate to sound like a broken record but good starting pitching gave Illinois a victory down in Texas. This time it was Ben Reeser who gave up just one earned run and six hits in 7 2/3 innings against Texas Arlington in the last game of the Al Ogletree tournament. Illinois defeated the Mavericks 3-2.
Coach Hartleb had some nice words about Reeser’s performance:
“Our pitchers responded this week; they were outstanding. You have to learn to win close games and our guys stayed composed and were able to pull this one out. Ben had command of three pitches down in the strike zone, showed great composure and had an outstanding outing. He pitched well in a game where we weren’t very productive offensively, so it was important to get the production from him that we received.”
Point well taken about close games. You don’t see them so much in college games so when happen, grab ’em and hold on tight!
Reeser’s victory compliments fine outings by Phil Haig on Friday night and Aaron Martin on Saturday. For the weekend, Illini pitching gave up only two earned runs in the three games at the tournament.
Offensively, Dom Altobelli came up to the plate and was responsible for two of Illinois’ runs. He had a sac fly scoring Joe Bonadonna who got on a Maverick misplay in left field. Two innings later, Altobelli’s base hit drove in Casey McMurray who led off the inning with a hit.
And darned if freshman Josh Parr isn’t continuing his hitting prowess. He was 1 for 3 with a triple and an rbi today. For the tournament, he was an amazing 7 for 10 with 5 rbis.
Texas Arlington was probably the biggest threat, at least if go by winning records. And appropriately, they seemed to give Illinois the biggest challenge. Now that Illinois is through with the Al Ogletree tournament, they can come home for a bit, enjoy their 5-1 record before they head south again to Louisiana next weekend. They will play their first three game series against one team, Louisiana State University.