The Illinois Fighting Illini defeated the Ohio State Buckeyes, 9-2, in the opening game of their three game series on Friday evening.
The hottest Illini hitter coming into Friday’s match-up was senior Justin Parr. In Friday’s win over Ohio State, Parr extended his hitting streak to 22 games. In three plate appearances, he only recorded a single hit, but that hit came in the form of a RBI triple that scored three runs for Illinois. Parr is now three hits shy of Ryan Snowden’s school record of 25 games.
The Fighting Illini were able to build up their lead in the fourth, fifth, and sixth innings. After the Illini lead 9-0 heading into the bottom of the sixth, the Buckeyes scored their only two runs of the game.
Some of the notable hitters for Illinois were Brandon Hohl (two-run double in the fourth inning), David Kerian (RBI single in the fourth inning), and Jason Goldstein (RBI single to start a four-run two-out rally).
The star of the game for the Illini was starting pitcher Kevin Johnson. He only pitched 5.1 innings for the Fighting Illini, but had a no-hitter through five full innings.
However, Johnson gave up two runs (one earned run) on two hits in the sixth inning. He walked a total of three batters in Friday’s game.
Kevin Johnson also set Illinois school history in his start against the Buckeyes. He now has the top spot in school history with 333 career innings pitched.
After the game, Johnson was asked about breaking the school record. His response was:
It is definitely cool to have the record, but I am even happier that we got the win tonight. It comes with a certain amount of luck with not getting injured, and I am very thankful to get where I’m at in my career. I am grateful for the opportunity I’ve had and being able to take advantage of it.
The Illinois Fighting Illini are now 24-10 overall and 6-4 in the Big Ten this season.
The Illinois Fighting Illini will play game two against the Ohio State Buckeyes on Saturday, April 20th at 2:05 p.m. CST.
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