John Kravetz’ win extends the Illini’s stay in Minneapolis
With their backs up against the wall at the Big Ten Tournament, Illinois (34-17) came through. Like yesterday, it was a tight, 3-2 ballgame but this time, Illinois came up on top. They defeated Michigan (29-27) who are already eliminated from this year’s double-elimination tourney, losing their first two games.
John Kravetz was the winner, throwing seven strikeouts in seven 1/3 innings. Kravetz spread out eight hits allowing two runs. Bryan Roberts came on in the ninth and pitched a hitless inning for his seventh save.
Michigan’s defense hurt them for the second day in a row. Today, their fielders committed three errors and Illinois was happy to capitalize on them. In the first, an error helped move runners along before Jordan Parr grounded home Thomas Lindauer. In the second, an error on the Michigan pitcher helped Kelly Norris-Jones load the bases for the Illini. Lindauer took advantage by bringing home a run on a sac fly.
Illinois added their third and deciding run in the fifth when Michael Hurwitz triples home Lindauer who had led off the inning with a base hit. From then on, it was up to the pitchers to get the job done.
Michigan did manage to score one more off Kravetz in the eighth but JD Nielsen and Drasen Johnson helped him by getting out of the inning. Roberts, of course, did his usual magic by pitching a near perfect ninth for the save.
Highlights from the game via IlliniProductionsHD’s YouTube Channel
Nice going, Illini!
Big Ten Watch
As I said, Michigan is the first to leave the Tournament. Illinois can thank themselves for that, I guess. The other team to beat Michigan was Nebraska. They are currently being narrowly defeated by Ohio State 2-1 in the bottom of 8th inning.
Tonight, we get our first look at Indiana in the Big Ten Tournament. They will take on Minnesota, the victors against Illinois on Wednesday.
I’ll leave these links here again.
On the heels of the news that he was named a semi-finalist for the Dick Howser Award, Justin Parr has been named as a semi-finalist for the inaugural Gregg Olson Award for “Breakout Player of the Year”. There are 46 players nationwide up for the award and only two among the Big Ten.
Congrats and Good luck, Justin!
Hard to believe it but with the win today, the Illini equaled the most wins since the 2009 season with 34. It also ties the record for the most wins in the Coach Dan Hartleb era. A lot was expected from this young team but they really have come through.
the winner of the Nebraska/Ohio State matchup tomorrow Minnesota at noon. This will be the fifth time in one week that Illinois has faced the Gophers. No pitching announcements have been named but I would guess that it’s freshman Ryan Castellanos for Illinois.
Good luck Illini!