‘Cats Fall In NCAA Regional Opener to Illinois, 10-3

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Ohio took the field in Champaign, Illinois for their first NCAA tournament action since 1997. But, the sixth-ranked team in the nation overpowered the ‘Cats on the way to a 10-3 victory in the first round of the NCAA College World Series Regionals.

The ‘Cats had been reliant upon their starting pitching to get them through the Mid-American Conference tournament. But, for Ohio, the strike zone Friday night became increasingly difficult to find as the night went on. Ohio pitching walked a total of seven batters throughout the game, two of which, went on to cross home plate. An error and two wild pitches gave the Illini two more runs.

The Fighting Illini overpowered Ohio scoring five runs in the second inning, three of which, came off of the bat of David Kerian. Kieran launched a ball into the surging wind, which carried over the left field wall putting Illinois up 4-2.

On the other hand, Ohio’s offense got off to an extremely quick start. Manny De Jesus led off the game with a single before advancing to third base on a fielder’s choice. Jake Madsen fought his way back from a 0-2 count, with one out, knocking in the ‘Cats first run of the game. John Adryan homered on the second pitch of his at-bat in the second inning, giving the ‘Cats a 2-1 lead. Mitch Longo was the only Ohio player to record multiple hits knocking in a RBI on a double in the fifth inning.

But, the rain came in the third inning causing a fifteen-minute delay and Ohio’s bats went quiet after that. The ‘Cats finished the night stranding seven runners on base.

Illinois rode their number-one starter, Kevin Duchene, through all 9 innings of work even after he allowed the two early runs. He finished the game giving up a total of seven hits, three earned runs, and one strikeout on 114 pitches.