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Illinois Drops Game One of Big Ten Tournament

Hunter Parsons blanks Illinois once again.

FightingIllini.com

We’ve seen it all before.

Illinois caught a case of déjà vu in their 6-2 loss to Maryland in the Big Ten tournament opener.

Maryland’s Hunter Parsons once again blanked Illinois on another fantastic start from Andy Fisher. Fisher pitched 6.1 innings only giving up one run on three hits, but his performance wasn’t enough for the Illini. Parsons, on the other hand, threw 7.1 innings of work giving up one run on 123 pitches.

“Their starting pitcher did an outstanding job against us,” head coach Dan Hartleb told FightingIllini.com. “We gave up the big inning and you just can’t do that in tournament play.”

The bullpen struggled in relief of Fisher. After closing out the seventh for Fisher, Sean Leland gave up four earned runs in the eighth before getting replaced by Nathan Lavender. Tyler Engle finished the game in ninth giving up one more run.

The Illini offense was stagnant once again only knocking in two runs on five hits against the Terrapins pitching staff.

Illinois had some momentum in the fifth after Grant Van Scoy scored on an error, but had that taken away with a shutout inning in the sixth from Parsons. The team never gave up though, scoring a run in the top of the ninth, but eventually losing 6-2.

He Said It

“We didn’t play well today, but that doesn’t mean we can’t come back and win this thing,” — Michael Massey told FightingIllini.com

Tweet of the Game

The one shining moment of the game was smart, aggressive base running from Nebraska native Grant Van Scoy.

Up Next

Illinois will play its second game in the tournament against the loser of the Ohio State/Michigan game — neither team has faced the Illini this year. The game will once again be played at 9 a.m.