May 1, 2015
COLUMBUS, Ohio — The No. 23 Ohio State baseball team fell, 8-1, against No. 6 Illinois in game one of a three-game Big Ten Top 25 series Friday night at Nick Swisher Field at Bill Davis Stadium. With the loss, Ohio State falls to 31-11 overall and 12-4 in Big Ten play, while the Fighting Illini improves to 38-6-1 and 14-1 in conference action.
“We just got beat tonight and Duchene was as advertised,” head coach Greg Beals said. “He was on top of the count all night and mixed his pitches well. We got beat by good pitching and they also had timely hitting. It was just one of those and nights and we need to be able to bounce back tomorrow.”
The loss snaps a seven-game win streak for the Scarlet and Gray, while the Illini improve its nation’s longest win streak to 19-consecutive games.
The Illini jumped out to a 4-0 lead, plating two runs in both the first and second innings, respectively, all with two outs. In the first, Casey Fletcher knocked two-run single to right field vs. Ohio State starting pitcher Tanner Tully. In the second, a two-out triple and single by Adam Walton and Ryan Nagle, respectively, extended the lead to 4-0.
Ohio State found some momentum when the Buckeyes plated one run in the bottom of the fifth vs. Illinois starter Kevin Duchene, who sent down the first 11 batters he faced. After Jordan McDonough reached base on a bloop single to right, Craig Nennig pushed him around home plate with a triple down the right field line. That’s all Ohio State would score against Duchene, who threw eight innings and allowed one run on, three hits with a walk and seven strikeouts to improve to 8-1 in 2015.
Tully settled down and kept the Illini off the scoreboard until the sixth inning as the Illini opened up the game to 8-1. He was replaced when he gave up a two-run single to left field with the bases loaded. Right-hander Adam Niemeyer came into the game and gave up a one-out double to Nagle to make it a seven-run deficit. Tully received the loss to fall to 4-3 and gave up eight runs on 10 hits with a walk and five strikeouts. Niemeyer threw three innings on no runs with three hits and one strikeout. Kyle Michalik pitched the final inning and threw a scoreless frame with a strikeout.
The series continues at 3:05 p.m. Saturday in Columbus. The contest will be streamed on BTN Plus ($) and the game will be Alumni Day at Bill Davis Stadium with 1965 and 1995 teams being recognized.