After playing arguably its worst week of baseball this season, the Illinois Baseball team started its series opener against No. 15 Indiana with some momentum.
The Illini took the series opener, 3-2, behind great pitching from Andy Fisher (4-1) and the bullpen.
Fisher had a shaky start in the first inning, giving up two runs. After that first inning, Fisher blanked the Hoosiers for the remainder of his outing, going 6.1 innings and giving up only those two runs on five hits and striking out four at the plate.
Once Fisher’s night was over, reliever Ryan Thompson locked down Indiana. he drew a double-play ball in the seventh inning to get Illinois out of a jam, then gave a scoreless inning in the eighth to set up closer Joey Gerber.
Gerber dominated the ninth inning like he has all season, striking out the entire side to pick up his 13th save of the season.
The Illinois comeback started in the fourth inning when second baseman Michael Massey hit an RBI single to right field, allowing shortstop Ben Troike to reach home after he singled in the inning.
The single from Troike increased his on-base streak to 42 games.
Troike wasn’t done at the plate either, leading off the top of the sixth inning with a double to right-center field. First baseman Bren Spillane followed that up with a double to right-center field as well, which Troike reached home on.
Troike’s final statline on the day was a 2-for-4 performance at the plate, and he scored two of the Illini’s three runs.
The third run came the next inning thanks to a lead off double from Michael Michalak, who was then batted in from outfielder Zac Taylor two batters later.
The series continues today at 1 p.m. CT.