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Around the Bases
CBI Live: Connecticut 8, No. 17 Oklahoma 7
Illinois past Oregon
By Taylor Gelbrich
EUGENE, Ore. – Eugene is known as the
Emerald City, but it was Kevin Johnson of Illinois who delivered
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