Penn State Wins Back-to-Back Games; Defeats Illinois 6-2
May 25, 2007
ANN ARBOR, Mich. - Penn State broke out with a five run inning in the eighth to win its second game of the day and secure its tournament life by defeating Illinois 6-2. The Nittany Lions batted through its line-up that inning which was capitalized by designated hitter Robert Yodice's bases clearing triple down the right field line.
After taking an early 1-0 lead in the second, Penn State starting pitcher John Karr held the Illini scoreless for five innings until Illinois broke the monotony of goose eggs on the board in the bottom of the sixth. Brandon Wikoff lined a shot through the middle of the diamond to lead off the inning and was followed by Big Ten Player of the Year Lars Davis, who placed a shot through the right side. When the throw from the outfield was cut-off, Davis found himself too far off first base to return, however, he advanced to second and Wikoff scored after the run-down was botched by an errant throw. Davis would later scored when designated hitter Daniel Webb singled to right field for the Illini to take a 2-1 lead.
It would take a full inning for the Nittany Lions to come roaring back and light up the scoreboard for five runs in the eighth and recapture the lead. With no one out and runners on first and second, Jake Toohey replaced Illinois starting pitcher Scott Shaw. Toohey walked Matt Cavagnaro to juice the bases and set up Yodice's triple to give Penn State a 4-2 advantage. The drive continued when Mike Deese followed with a single up the middle to score Yodice from third. The Nittany Lions tacked on another run before Illinois could get out of the inning, tagging Toohey for three runs on four hits in 0.2 innings of work.
The new four run lead was enough as Matt Ogrodnik (4-3) picked up the win for Penn State in a near perfect one-hit 3.2 inning performance.
With back-to-back wins today, Penn State stays alive to see another day. The Nittany Lions face the loser of tonight's game against No. 6 Ohio State and No. 2 Minnesota.