May 23, 2013
Illinois used a 2-0 lead to win, 3-2 over Michigan, today at Target Field as the two teams kicked off the second day of the Big Ten Tournament. Illinois scored a run in the first, another in the second and the winning run in the fifth to win their 34th game of the season.
The Illini were led by a trio of players who had multiple-hit games. Thomas Lindauer went 2-5 with two runs scored and a RBI, while Michael Hurwitz was 2-4 with a RBI and Davis Hendrickson was also 2-3. Jordan Parr also had a sacrifice fly for the Illini's third RBI. Starting pitcher John Kravetz earned the win when he went 7.1 innings, scattered eight hits, two runs and struck out seven.
Michigan, the six seed in the tournament, ended its season with a 29-27 record. Trailing 2-1, Michigan scored a run in the top of the third and another in the eighth to cut the Illini lead to 3-2, but stranded two, also in the eighth as the Wolverines ended its season. Michael O'Neill and Jacob Cronenworth each had multiple hits, while Travis Maezes had two RBI. Logan McAnallen suffered the loss when he pitched 4.1 innings, allowed three earned runs, walked one and struck out one.
Illinois will play again tomorrow (May 24) at noon.
Illinois Post Game Quotes
Head Coach Dan Hartleb
“I thought we competed really well today, as we did not yesterday. We beat a very good quality team with Michigan today. It was a battle back and forth. We had multiple opportunities to score when there was less than two outs and they came up with some big pitches. I thought our bullpen did a great job. John Kravetz did an outstanding job. That first inning, to me, was the difference in the game obviously. With bases loaded and no outs, and John continued to battle and strikes out the side and did not give up any runs. And then Mike Hurwitz later in the game triples to score with Thomas Lindauer. As we have for a long time we have pitched well with our starters in the bullpen and then we play good defense. We are pleased that we won but we are really proud of the way that we came back after such a tough loss yesterday.”
Pitcher John Kravetz
On striking out the side when the bases are loaded…
“I just had to take a deep breath and slow this thing down. It was the top of the first and I thought nothing can happen yet so I just had to take it one pitch at a time and throw quality pitches. I trust guys behind me also and it just came out in my favor.”
“It got our confidence up, we got them on our side so I really tried to go off of that and it kind of just set the tone for the game.”
Designated Hitter Michael Hurwitz
On experience playing at Target Field…
“Playing at the Twins stadium, it really is a great chance to feel like a big leaguer for a week. We have already played at St. Louis field already this year so are kind of used to this, but it has been fun.”
Michigan Postgame Quotes
Head Coach Erik Bakich
“Not a good showing for us these last two days. Our team wasn’t mentally sound, having seven errors in two days and missed opportunities today with runners in scoring position, allowing their runners to get into scoring position. Just not taking advantage of what we had. I’m disappointed, but it’s a big deal to get here, with the great senior leadership that got us here. Disappointed it had to end this way, but just getting here is a huge thing for this program in year one.”
On loading bases in first inning…
“That really, unfortunately, was the difference. That, and when we had first and third with one out and we struck out, we are a whole lot tougher than that. I don’t know if we have done that all year to have three consecutive strikeouts after loading the bases with nobody out. That is just unacceptable and we are better than that. It is just unfortunate that this happened in a one run game. Every run counts and that was the difference and set the tone there.”
On youth of team and gaining Big Ten tournament experience…
“21 freshmen and sophomores on our 32 man roster, just getting these guys here is a big deal. Guys like Jacob Cronenworth, Travis Maezes, Evan Hill, and Matt Ogden. Being here certainly gave them that experience. Hopefully they remember what this tastes like, what this feels like, so that we have a better showing.”
Pitcher Matt Ogden
On playing in a Major League ballpark…
“It is a great park, like coach said, but when it comes down to it you are still playing baseball on a baseball field. Everything around you, you have to block out. Got to get up there and play your game. It’s really all you can do.”