Illini Sweep doubleheader in Lansing

Yes, there was baseball in Lansing today.  There weather cooperated and the University of Illinois have swept Michigan State in today’s doubleheader.  Because nothing beats being there, here’s the report from Tom Tompkins who is attending the games this weekend.  Once again, thanks to Tom T. for his “eyewitness” reports.  

Under a cloudless blue sky and 40 degree temperatures Illinois jumped off to a top of the first 3-0 lead, and built it up to 9-1 through the end of the 6th. It reminded this Spartan fan of last nights basketball game. Fall hopelessly behind in the first half, and then battle back to a least make it respectable.

Kevin Manson pitched well, holding MSU in check with his fast ball consistently in the 87-89 mph range. It was not until he left at the end of the 6th that the Spartans were able to mount a four run inning to reach what turned out to be the final of 9-5.

Illinois played an error less and impressive game, in front of what looked to be about 30 orange and navy blue clad Illinois rooters. The players I picked out as “ballplayers” were Kyle Hudson (speed and power), Dominic Altobelli (solid contact every time), Ryan Hastings (has the “look”), and Chris Montgomery (tough out).

Jonathan and Eric Roof were fun to watch. Definitely “old school”, get your uniform dirty, show your socks to the knees, hustling, love the game, ball players. Jonathan is a fixture at short, and Eric caught game one.

We came back home to warm up and get a quick dinner, and will try to get back for to check on game 2.

Fun to be watching baseball again.

Tom

Game 1 Final Score Illinois 9 Michigan State 5

Man, I wish I was there.  Indeed, the players that Tom T. acknowledged in his note seem to be the big guys from a look at the box score.  Hudson was 2 for 4 with 3 runs and 2 stolen bases.  That gives him 11 SBs so far this season, by the way.  Altobelli was 3 for 4 with a double, 2 rbis and run.  Catcher Montgomery was 3 for 5 with 2 rbis. 

Starter Kevin Manson seemed to have a solid start (3 ER in 6 IP) but looked to have control problems with 5 walks.  Lee Zerrusen who has been pretty untouchable up until now, got lit for 2 runs but Ben Reeser did his magic allowing just one hit in 2 2/3 innings.

Game 2 Final Score Illinois 2 Michigan State 0

No doubt, the hero of Game 2 was starting pitcher Mike Stankiewicz.  Stanky pitched a 4-hit shutout.  On top of that, he didn’t allow any walks.

It was goose eggs for both teams until the fifth inning (this was the seven-inning game).  Illinois’ first run came when Nick Stockwell scored on a Joe Bonadonna single.  The next inning, Dom Altobelli scored on a Chris Montgomery fielder’s choice.  Those two runs would be the only runs Illinois would need winning 2-0. 

 

There is a Sunday double header left against MSU.  Good luck, Illini!!

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