Illinois Baseball: Kevin Johnson Struggled Early As Illini Fall to Michigan State, 12-3

The Illinois Fighting Illini saw their three game winning streak snapped on Friday after being crushed by the Michigan State Spartans, 12-3.

June 3, 2011; Fullerton, CA, USA; Illinois Fighting Illini pitcher Kevin Johnson (22) pitches against the Cal State Fullerton Titans during the first inning of the Fullerton regional of the 2011 NCAA baseball tournament at Goodwin Field. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

The hottest Illini hitter coming into Friday’s match-up was senior Justin Parr.

Despite losing the game, Parr extended his school record hitting streak to 29 games. In four plate appearances, he recorded one hit and struck out once. Parr holds the school’s longest hit streak and is one game shy of equaling the longest mark in 2013 by Oklahoma’s Matt Oberste.

The Fighting Illini fell behind early after the Spartans jumped out to a 6-0 in the first inning.

The initial hit to get the Spartans on the board was when Blaise Salter crushed a 3-run home run down the left field line. Then, after a Jimmy Pickens walk on the next batter, Joel Fisher hit a 2-run homer to center field. MSU would add one more run on a sac bunt.

The winning pitcher for Michigan State was Andrew Waszak. Waszak recorded his fifth win of the season after pitching 8.1 innings on Friday. During his time on the mound, he gave up only three runs on seven hits and struck out three batters.

The losing pitcher for Illinois was Kevin Johnson. Johnson did not make it past the first inning. During his only inning, he gave up six runs on six hits. Johnson is now 6-3 on the year.

After the game, head coach Dan Hartleb had this to say about his team’s pitching:

That was the worst we’ve pitched all year. We threw a lot of balls over the middle of the plate, so we need to be much better on the mound the rest of the weekend.

The Illinois Fighting Illini are now 27-14 overall and 8-8 in the Big Ten this season.

The Illinois Fighting Illini will play game two against the Michigan State Spartans on Saturday, May 4th at 12:05 p.m. CST.

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Topics: Baseball, Illinois Fighting Illini, Justin Parr, Kevin Johnson, Michigan State Spartans

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