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May 20, 1999

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The No. 3 seed Illinois upset No. 2 seed Minnesota, 12-9, in the first round of the Big Ten Tournament at the Bill Davis Stadium in Columbus, Ohio. Illinois topped the Minnesota Gophers with strong pitching from starter Jason Anderson, who completed the game after throwing 158 pitches and striking out eight.

The Fighting Illini (34-10) advances to tomorrows second round game and play the winner of the Ohio State/Michigan game at 7:05 p.m. Minnesota falls to 41-15 and will compete tomorrow at 3:05 p.m. against the loser of the OSU/Michigan match-up .

The Fighting Illini got on the board early in the first inning with a solo home run blast from D.J. Svihlik. Svihlik belted his 15th home run of the season over the centerfield wall to give Illinois a 1-0 lead.

Minnesota answered quickly when Matt Scanlon reached first on a fielders choice. Then with one out, 1999 Big Ten Player of the Year Robb Quinlan notched a homer over the left field wall to go up 2-1.

The Illinis bats remained quiet until Chris Basak and Dan ONeil hit back-to-back singles in the third. Craig Marquie followed with a walk on balls to load the bases. Then Kevin Rudden blasted a three-run double to again give the Illini the lead, 4-2.

Illinois followed again in the fourth with Jon Anderson singling to centerfield. Jeff Gertz hit a two-run homer over the left field wall to give them a six run lead.

Minnesota cut Illinois four run lead to three with Aron Amundson leading off with a solo homer in the bottom of the fourth. Illinois 6-3.

In the fifth, Scott Howard hit a lead-off single and Quilan knocked a line drive double into centerfield. Amundson followed with a single to bring home Howard and Quilan. Illinois 6-5.

Anderson drove a double into rightfield to begin the top of the sixth. Gertz and ONeil both drew walks off Minnesotas Brad Pautz to load the bases. With two outs, Svihlik walked to score Gertz and advance ONeil to third. Pautz threw a wild pitch to score ONeil and Marquie brought Svihlik home off a single to the shortstop. Illinois 9-5.

Minnesota began its comeback with Arlt and Kennedy both walking in the beginning of the sixth. With no outs, pinch hitter Josh Holthaus followed with a three-run bomb into rightfield. Howard advanced to first off an error from first baseman Rudden. One out later, Anderson issued the third walk of the inning to Quilan to advance Rudden to second. Amundson dropped a liner in between the shortstop and leftfielder to bring Quilan home and even the score at nine.

Both teams held each other scoreless until the eighth inning. Minnesotas reliever Frank Wagner walked ONeil to lead off the inning. He would later advance to second off a wild pitch and Marquie followed with another walk off Wagner .Tom McClure stepped up by singling into center and send ONeil and Marquie home to give Illlinois once again the lead, 11-9.

Illinois extended its lead in the top of the ninth with Gertz leading off the inning with a walk. Chris Basak drove a single and advance to second off a Quinlan error. Then, ONeil was intentionally walked to load the bases and Svihlik would sacrifice to score Gertz. Illinois won 12-9.

After recording 158 pitches, Anderson completed the game and posted the win to give him a 9-2 mark for the season. Minnesotas reliever Wagner was the losing pitcher and now has a 4-4 mark.

Big Ten Baseball Tournament