MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. — A four-run fifth inning and a steady outing by Drasen Johnson allowed the Illinois baseball team to end a two-game slide with a 5-4 win against Coastal Carolina on Saturday in the Illini’s second game during the Caravelle Resort’s Baseball at the Beach tournament.
Johnson — who retired 14 consecutive batters at one point — scattered seven hits through 62/3 innings, striking out five and walking one, to record his first win of the season. Tyler Jay picked up his second save.
“Drasen was really good,” UI coach Dan Hartleb said. “He got better as the game moved along. He had a very good changeup, commanded the zone, and stayed ahead in the count.”
Illinois (2-3) took a 5-0 lead in the fifth when designated hitter Ryan Nagle (2 for 5) pulled a double into right field with the bases loaded to clear the bases. Oakwood product Casey Fletcher had the first hit of his Illinois career, going 1 for 3 with an RBI single.
Arnold delivers. The Illini split a pair of games, beating Missouri-Kansas City 7-0 after losing 4-3 in nine innings to Texas Tech at the UTA Hilton Invitational in Arlington, Texas.
Shelese Arnold tossed a one-hit shutout against the Kangaroos, losing her no-hit bid by giving up a bunt single to the first batter in the top of the seventh inning.
Allie Bauch went 2 for 4 with an RBI and Brandi Needham struck out four in seven innings for the Illini (9-3) against Texas Tech.
In women’s tennis:
Illini prevail against Yale. Illinois swept the doubles point and Allison Falkin won a hard-fought 6-7, 6-1, 11-9 singles match to help the Illini beat Yale 4-3 at the Blue-Gray National Tennis Classic in Montgomery, Ala.
In women’s track & field:
Thompson shines. Champaign Central product Samone Thompson won two events during the Orange and Blue Open at the UI Armory to pace the Illini against Illinois State.
Thompson placed first in the 60-meter hurdles in 8.73 seconds and won the long jump in 17 feet, 101/4 inches.
Kandie Bloch-Jones, an Argenta-Oreana graduate, won the high jump for Illinois in 5-10, and Urbana product Nicole Choquette had the top college time in the 800-meter run (2 minutes, 14.16 seconds), along with running a leg in the 1,600-meter relay team that placed first in 4:03.59.
In men’s track & field:
Zebe stands out. Illinois tallied six first-place finishes during the Orange and Blue Open at the UI Armory, but it finished second to Illinois State.
Unity product Zebo Zebe had one of the first-place efforts, winning the 800-meter run in 1:54.22.
Illinois also had representation at the Alex Wilson Invitational at Notre Dame. The 3,200-meter relay team of Luke Carroll, Stephon Pamilton, Joe McAsey and Liam Markham placed 11th in 9:33.88, which was the second-fastest time in school history.
In women’s swimming:
Relay paces Illini. The Illini finished last at the Big Ten Championships at Minnesota, accumulating 79 points. The 400-yard freestyle relay team of Alison Meng, Courtney Pope, Jessica Holz and Megan Marchuk had the best finish for Illinois, placing 10th in 3:23.36.