March 2, 2012
MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. - St. John's had at least one base runner in six different innings, but Illinois induced four Red Storm double plays and made a two-run first inning hold up in a 4-0 victory. Jeremy Baltz was 2-for-4 and Kevin Grove was 1-for-3 with a walk to pace St. John's (3-6). Kyle Hansen (0-3) took another tough-luck loss, allowing four runs, three earned, and striking out seven in 6.1 innings. Thomas Lindauer was 3-for-4 and Jordan Parr had two RBI to lead Illinois (4-4). Kevin Johnson (1-1) tossed 7.0 scoreless innings and scattered seven hits to earn the win.
Illinois got on the board first, plating two runs on three hits in the bottom of the first inning. After a leadoff single, Justin Parr singled to set up runners on the corners. A two-out walk loaded the bases before Jordan Parr made it 2-0 with a two-run single through the left side. Hansen ended the inning with a strikeout, his third in the frame.
After leaving two runners on base in the first, St. John's stranded two more runners in the second. Eric Peterson and Danny Bethea put together back-to-back two-out singles and advanced to second and third on a wild pitch, but a groundout ended the inning.
The Illini added an unearned run in the fourth to go up 3-0. Davis Hendrickson reached on a bunt single, but moved to second on a throwing error before a Kelly Norris-Jones single set up runners on the corners. An errant pickoff attempt at first allowed Hendrickson to score from third and gave Illinois the 3-0 advantage.
The Red Storm continued to put runners on base, but was kept off the board by double plays. A 1-6-3 double play erased the leadoff man in the third, while an inning-ending 4-6-3 double play erased a one-out walk in the fourth. A one-out Baltz single and a Matt Wessinger walk set up first and second with one out in the sixth, but a 1-6-3 double play ended the inning. Grove singled to lead off the seventh and Peterson reached on an error with one out, but an inning-ending 6-3 double play kept the Red Storm off the board again.
Hansen, meanwhile, retired seven-straight and nine-of-ten before a one-out double and a single set up runners on the corners in the seventh and the righty was lifted. Kevin Kilpatrick entered and Illinois scored its second run of the day via an errant pickoff throw to make it 4-0 before the lefty retired the side.
Reliever Ronnie Mock worked a pair of 1-2-3 innings to close out the game for the Illini.
St. John's returns to action on March 3 with a 1:30 p.m. game at Coastal Carolina.