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April 28, 2000%^$%^$

%^$%^$Box Score%^$%^$%^$%^$

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. – %^$The Ohio State baseball team (27-17 overall, 8-9 in the Big Ten) lost game one of a four-game series against the Illinois Fighting Illini (30-16 overall, 14-7 in the Big Ten), 5-2, in front of 1,018 at Illinois Field. Chris Alvord (Jr., Mentor, Ohio) and Mike Check (Jr., Bay Village, Ohio) drove in OSU’s only runs of the ballgame.%^$

%^$”We had opportunites early in the ballgame,” head coach Bob Todd said. “You can’t expect to beat a good team like Illinois when you strand nine runners.”%^$

%^$In the bottom half of the third inning, Illinois took the first lead of the ballgame. Brady Ballard and Joe Parenti led off with back-to-back hits. Two batters later, Ballard scored on a sacrifice fly by Chris Basak and Craig Marquie followed with a one run double to bring home Parenti and give the Fighting Illini a 2-0 lead.%^$

%^$Illinois added another run in the bottom of the fifth inning. With two outs, Basak reached base on a fielding error by OSU second baseman Chad Ehrnsberger (Jr., Kalida, Ohio). Marquie quickly made OSU pay for the mistake with a double down the right field line to score Basak and increase the Fighting Illini lead to 3-0.%^$

%^$The Buckeyes cut the UI lead to 3-1 in the top of the seventh inning. With two outs, Alvord and Jason Driscoll (Sr., Middlefield, Ohio) drilled back-to-back singles. Check then followed and continued his torrid hitting with runners in scoring position by lining a single to left field to score Alvord and give OSU its first run of the game.%^$

%^$In the bottom half of the seventh, D.J. Svihlik hit a two-run home run over the right field wall off a 1-0 offering from OSU starting pitcher E.J. Laratta (So., Englewood, Colo.) to give UI a 5-1 lead.%^$

%^$In the top of the ninth, Trent McIlvain (Jr., Louisville, Ohio) drilled a one-out triple to the right field alley. Alvord immediately followed with a double to score McIlvain and cut the UI lead to 5-2.%^$

%^$Laratta tossed a complete game but saw his record drop to 5-4. He gave up 12 hits, five runs, four earned runs and stuck out a pair. Jason Anderson pitched a complete game for Illinois and improved his record to 9-2.%^$

%^$Tomorrow, the two teams return to Illinois Field for a twi-night doubleheader at 5:05 p.m.