May 17, 2001
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Rain forced game two of the 2001 Big Ten Baseball Tournament to be completed Thursday, but the overnight delay did not affect Illinois starting pitcher Andy Dickinson (11-1). The picked up his conference-leading 11th win of the season to lead the Fighting Illini (29-26) over the Purdue Boilermakers (32-23), 9-5 at Bill Davis Stadium.
With the win, Illinois will face Minnesota Friday at 12:05 p.m. With the loss, Purdue will face the loser of the Ohio State vs. Michigan game today at 3:35 p.m.
Illinois took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning. Trevor Fredickson led off with a double to center field. Two outs later, Brady Ballard lined a single to centerfield to score the run and give the Illini the first lead of the game.
The Fighting Illini added two more runs in the top of the fourth inning. Andy Schutzenhofer led off with a walk off starting pitcher Ben Quick. Two batters later, he scored on a double by Patrick Arlis. One batter later, Arlis scored on a double by Trevor Frederickson. In the bottom of the inning, Purdue tacked on its first run of the ballgame. With one out, David Harrell smacked a double to right-center field. A single by Nate Sickler pushed Harrell to third base. Kris Luce then drove in Purdue’s first run with a sacrifice fly to center field.
At 5:56 p.m., the game was postponed with two outs in the top of the fifth inning to Thursday because of rain.
After the restart, Purdue’s Daniel Hernandez entered the game to pitch. In the top of the sixth inning, Rob Fischer led off with by taking a 2-0 offering from Hernandez over the left field wall for a solo home run. The blast increased the Fighting Illini’s lead to 5-1.
The Fighting Illini broke the game open in the top of the seventh inning. Brady Ballard led off with a walk and moved to second on a bunt single by T.F. Meagher. Two batters later, Luke Simmons blasted a 2-0 offering from Hernandez over the left field wall for a three-run home run. The bomb gave the Illini an 8-1 lead. In the bottom of the seventh, the Boilermakers cut the lead to 8-2 when Nate Sickler scored on a groundout by Brad Kriner.
In the bottom of the eighth inning, Purdue tacked on three runs and cut the Illinois lead to 8-5. David Harrell chipped in with a one-run single and Sickler and Luce drove in runs with a pair of sacrifice flies.
In the top of the ninth inning, Simmons scored on an RBI single by Arlis, pushing the Illini lead to 9-5.
Dickinson fired a complete game, allowing 10 hits and five runs (four earned). He struck out two and did not walk a batter. Quick (7-5) took the loss. He went 4.2 innings, threw 97 pitches, gave up six hits, four runs (all earned), walked two and recorded three strikeouts.
Purdue head coach Doug Schreiber
“Basically, we didn’t play well. They had the Big Ten Pitcher of the Year on the mound and he did what he has done all year. They hit the ball. We couldn’t keep the ball in the park. Anytime you give up seven extra-base hits, that’s a formula for disaster. Our bullpen didn’t do the job. Offensively, we struggled.”
Illinois head coach Itch Jones
“I thought we stuck to the gameplan very well last night and came back today and started where we left off. I think it was a surprise to them that Andy (Dickinson) came back today. He gave us a great win. We’re thankful to be in the winners’ bracket.”
On Andy Dickinson
“Andy decided to come back. He only threw 44 pitches last night. He wasn’t really in any jams last night and thought he could finish.”