After picking up a huge win on Thursday, the Illini season came to an end (for now) on Friday after Illinois lost to the Minnesota Golden Gophers, 3-1.
Illinois came into Friday with momentum from their game against Michigan. Sophomore John Kravetz set the tone for the Illini on the mound in the win. However, that momentum didn’t carry over into Friday.
The Illini offense couldn’t produce many runs against Minnesota. They only scored a single run and that came in the second inning. They scored this run on a Davis Hendrickson single to left field.
Much like Illinois, Minnesota only scored in one inning, but they were able to score more than just one run. In the fourth inning, the Golden Gophers put up a 3-spot on the Fighting Illini.
These runs came off of singles by Dan Olinger, Michael Handel, and Ryan Abrahamson.
On Friday, the Fighting Illini sent Ryan Castellanos to the mound to start the game. Castellanos pitched well, but did not have the offense to back him up against the Golden Gophers. He pitched 5.0 innings where he gave up three runs on eight hits and struck out three batters.
The biggest problem for the Illini on Friday was leaving runners in scoring position (just like on Wednesday against Minnesota). The Fighting Illini had a chance to tie the game in the seventh,but left runners on second and third to end the inning. After seeing Illinois end the regular season on such a high note, its a shame to see them getting bounced this early from the Big Ten Tournament.
After the game, head coach Dan Hartleb said:
It was a tough game. We pitched extremely well and played well defensively, but just hit a bunch of bullets right at their defenders. We couldn’t come up with the two-out hits when we needed them.
The Illinois Fighting Illini will need to wait to see if their season will continue in 2013. The selection show for the College World Series will be this Monday at noon ET on ESPNU.
Make sure to follow me on Twitter @RickyWidmer.
Like the us on Facebook at Writing_Illini.