March 9, 2012

Rankings are from CBI Composite Poll

click here for complete list of scores

click here for Around the Bases

CBI Live: Connecticut 8, No. 17 Oklahoma 7

CBI Live
Johnson pitches Illinois past Oregon

By Taylor Gelbrich


EUGENE, Ore. – Eugene is known as the Emerald City, but it was Kevin Johnson of Illinois who delivered the gem.


Johnson pitched a complete game for the Fighting Illini in a 2-1 victory over No. 12 Oregon Friday in the second game of the Nike College Showcase.


Johnson (2-1) gave up only one run on four hits in nine innings while striking out five, as Illinois (5-5) ended the 10-game win streak of the Ducks (10-2). Johnson shut down Oregon after the first inning.


“First inning I had a little bit of the jitters,” said Johnson. “Overall, I thought I loosened up. That ninth inning just coming out, and I felt like I knew what I wanted to do and that was to win, and we got the win.”


Alex Keudell (1-2) took a tough loss after going eight inning and only giving up two runs on six hits while striking out six.


Oregon would strike first after Keudell shut down Illinois its first two times up to the plate. Ryon Healy led off the inning with a double and after a Shaun Chase fly out, Kyle Garlick laced a curveball to the warning track for a double giving the Ducks a 1-0 lead after two.


Illinois would tie the game in the fourth. Brandon Hohl led off the inning with a walk, but would go to the bench after Reid Roper grounded into a fielder’s choice. Jordan Parr kept the inning alive with a blooper into right field. With runners on the corners and one out, Davis Hendrickson was able to beat out the throw on the double play to allow Roper to score. The rally would end there with the game knotted at 1.


Both Johnson and Keudell had been dealing for the better part of the game. With two outs in the sixth, it seemed Illinois would be heading for another 1-2-3 inning until Roper laced a ball up the middle for a base hit. Parr would come through huge for the Illini with two outs as he launched a ball deep into the left center gap that would bring in Roper and give the Illini a 2-1 lead.


Keudell’s night would be over after only giving up two runs over eight innings. Keudell pitched very well and spotted up his fastball nicely while finishing off hitters with the slider.


The Ducks would never threaten again because Johnson only allowed one hit after the sixth. He finished off the Ducks in order in the ninth to clinch the win. It was the big hit from Parr that would give the Illini the winning run.


“But Kevin Johnson is the one that really did an outstanding job tonight,” Illinois head coach Dan Hartleb said. “He used his fastball well. He was in command of the game and was ahead of the count a lot. I just thought we did an excellent job from a pitching standpoint. We played very solidly defensively and when you do that you got a chance to win every day.”