April 2, 2005

Box Score

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. – Illinois had all of the runs it needed in the first inning in a 4-1 win over Ohio State in the first game of a doubleheader Saturday at Illinois Field. The Buckeyes dropped to 13-6 overall and 0-2 in Big Ten play for the first time since 1996 when they lost the first two games at Iowa.

Illinois jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the bottom of the first. OSU third baseman Ronnie Bourquin (So., Canton, Ohio/Canton South) could not field a grounder off lead-off batter J.R. Keyes. Chris Robinson doubled off the wall in the right-field corner to score Kyes and then was hit in on a double by Dusty Bensko down the left-field line, just inside the bag at third. Mike Madsen (Sr., Canfield, Ohio/Notre Dame Cathedral Latin) hit Drew Davidson and after the second out of the inning, gave up a third double of the inning, this time to Mike Rhode, who scored both Bensko and Davidson to take a four-run lead. Madsen was charged with only one earned run.

Illinois starter Jimmy Conroy gave up a two-out walk in the top of the first and a Bourquin single to left and then retired the next 15 batters before giving up an infield single to Jason Zoeller (So., Verona, Pa./Shady Side Academy). Steve Caravati (Sr., Dover, Ohio/Dover) followed with a double down the left field line to put Ohio State on the board, 4-1.

Madsen came out of the game in the fifth inning after hitting back-to-back batters with one out. They were the third and fourth walks by Madsen, who gave up six hits and the four runs back in the first inning, though only one run was earned thanks to the first of two Buckeye errors in the game.

Conroy pitched his first complete game of the season, allowing the one OSU run on three hits. He struck out six and walked one to improve to 4-0 and move Illinois to 12-5-1 overall and 2-0 in the Big Ten.

Kyes and Gardenhire had two hits each to lead the Illinois eight-hit offense. Zoeller, Caravati and Bourquin had the three hits for Ohio State.

The teams will play the second game of a doubleheader immediately following game one before closing the series Sunday at 2:05 p.m.