Friday, Illinois split a doubleheader with the Michigan State Spartans. They eked out a win in Game 1 in 10 innings by the score of 4-3 but were outslugged 10-2 in Game 2. In any other year, I would pretty much expect a split with the Spartans. But this year, coming away with a split against MSU who have really been tough this year, could be considered a moral victory, I guess. The rubber game is Saturday at 11:05am.
In game 1, Lee Zerrusen got the start (on his birthday as he mentions in Diamond Notes #9) and again pitched well enough to keep us in the game. Pitching six innings, he allowed just three runs. Unlike his last start though, his control seems to have improved allowing only two walks.
It was the bullpen that deserves the big applause in Game 1. Wes Braun (left) showed his good stuff once more. He got the win on three scoreless innings of work. Bryan Roberts came in to pitch a perfect 10th inning to get his sixth save of the season.
Casey McMurray was the offensive hero of the first game. He was 2 for 5 including a homerun to lead off the sixth. Mac had three rbis on the game.
Game 1 may have been a bit of a pitcher’s duel as the Big Ten goes, but Game 2 was a different matter. Michigan State got their hitting shoes on and dealt Illinois a 10-2 defeat.
As good as Kevin Johnson was last weekend, he just didn’t have it yesterday. Seven Spartans crossed the plate in the first inning. To make matters worse, the Illini offense didn’t respond. Or perhaps, they just didn’t take advantage of opportunities, After all, they DID have eleven hits. Something I happened to noticed that probably indicates the futility of the timing and Two Illini batters had two hits (Aaron Johnson and Josh Parr) but they worked alone because they didn’t drive in a run or score.
One thing that should be noted… Kevin Manson (right)who came in Johnson in the second, pitched a great game. Not only did he only allow just two runs in seven innings but he didn’t walk any batters either.
As I said, the third and last game of the series at MSU is today at 11:05am.
No, I didn’t fall of the face of the earth. Between work issues (I do have a day job :) ) and some personal stuff going on, I haven’t been able to update blog the last couple days. Thanks to those who inquired. It’s nice to know I’m missed. :)
The Illini Retrospective is getting closer and closer to our era. The latest installment is The 1970s. That would be when my brother went to the University of Illinois. I know he was a big Illini sports fan so I’ll have to ask him if he caught any baseball games.
It’s been two weeks since I’ve seen an Illini baseball game. I’m going through withdrawal. Tuesday’s game against Bradley can’t come quick enough.