Indiana Daily Student

IU drops 2 at Illinois, 3rd game rained out

Senior outfielder Will Nolden swings at a pitch during the baseball game at Illinois Field on Friday. Illinois won 5-1.
Senior outfielder Will Nolden swings at a pitch during the baseball game at Illinois Field on Friday. Illinois won 5-1.

April 2013 was the last time IU lost four games in a row. After losing two games on the road at No. 12 Illinois this weekend, this year’s team matched that.

Game three was rained out Sunday and will not be rescheduled. IU lost game one Friday 5-1 and lost game two 6-3 on Saturday.

Junior Caleb Baragar started for the Hoosiers on Friday but lasted just four innings, allowing five runs — just two earned — on eight hits.

“Baragar had a bit of tough luck, as we misplayed a few balls,” IU Coach Chris Lemonis said. “I thought he ?was okay.”

IU had two errors in the game that proved to be costly. Both were committed by seniors — Scott Donley at first base and Will Nolden in ?right field.

IU (21-15, 5-8) scattered 11 hits in the game but was unable to come up with the timely hit to knock in runs. Senior infielder Casey Rodrigue led the way with three hits and scored the lone Hoosier run.

Illinois (32-6-1, 10-1) is in first place in the Big Ten Conference and was paced in game one by junior Kevin Duchene, who pitched seven innings, allowing only one run. Junior Jason Goldstein and sophomore Adam Walton each hit a home run in ?the game.

In game two, Fighting Illini senior starter Drasen Johnson pitched a complete game, allowing three runs — two earned — on seven hits. Sophomore Pat McInerney went 4-for-4 to lead the ?offense.

“Illinois is a very well-rounded team,” Lemonis said. “Nice starting pitching, a good bullpen and they have an older, experienced lineup that is playing really ?well right now.”

Sophomore Jake Kelzer started on the mound for IU and went 5.2 innings, allowing six runs — five earned — on seven hits while walking three. Four of Illinois’ runs came in the first inning.

“After that point, Jake Kelzer pitched very well,” Lemonis said. “You have to be able to throw strikes, and walks came back to get him.”

Donley and sophomore Craig Dedelow each had two hits in the game.

IU’s plan for game three was to start junior Kyle Hart. Lemonis said he planned to throw junior Scott Effross in relief, along with a couple other bullpen arms.

He said Effross is not injured, and he was going to pitch by the matchups instead of having one guy go as far as he could into the game. He said he expects a similar approach Tuesday when the Hoosiers face Notre Dame at Victory Field in Indianapolis.

Either Hart or Effross is expected to start, but Lemonis said his mind is not made up yet.

Senior shortstop Nick Ramos is still out with an injury, and a return date has not been determined. In the meantime, freshman Colby Stratten has taken over at second base, while Rodrigue has moved to shortstop. Stratten has made a positive impression on Lemonis and his staff.

“We just needed to play defense, and that’s what he’s done a good job with,” Lemonis said. “He’s had some clutch at-bats in there, too, so he’s been a nice spark for us.”

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