Relievers combine with Drasen Johnson to earn win in series opener against Penn State.
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. — Drasen Johnson turned in another solid effort on the mound, leading Illinois to a 6-3 Big Ten baseball victory against Penn State on Friday night.
Johnson, who struck out six, allowed nine hits and one earned run in 61/3 innings.
Reliever Tyler Jay (2-0) didn’t allow any runs or hits in 12/3 innings for the Illini (19-14, 7-3 Big Ten). Reid Roper picked up his second save.
Ryne Roper went 2 for 4 with two RBI, and Adam Walton was 2 for 5 with an RBI.
Illini shut out. Host Purdue jumped to a big lead against Illinois pitchers Brandi Needham and Shelese Arnold, winning 11-0 in five innings Friday in the Big Ten series opener.
“We were never in this one, didn’t have our best stuff in the circle, and that gave Purdue a lot of confidence at the plate,” UI coach Terri Sullivan said. “So we move on quickly and have to be better (today).”
Illini reliever Jade Vecvanags allowed one base runner in the final two-plus innings, but the Boilermakers already had the game in hand after scoring 11 runs on 14 hits at the outset.
In women’s gymnastics:
Illinois doesn’t advance. Oklahoma, Georgia and LSU advanced to the Super Six of the NCAA Championships in Birmingham, Ala.
Stanford, Michigan and Illinois failed to advance.
Oklahoma, last year’s runner-up, led the way in the first semifinal Friday with 197.50 and posted the top team scores on balance beam and floor exercise. Taylor Spears had the high score on the beam with a 9.925.
The Illini totaled 195.8, their highest total at nationals.
Erin Buchanan tied for 10th on vault with a 9.85 and tied for 13th on floor with a 9.875.
Mary Jane Horth led the Illini on bars (9.775) and beam (9.8).
In men’s tennis:
Hiltzik leads way. Jared Hiltzik, competing at No. 2 singles, won 6-4, 6-3 to lead the 10th-ranked Illini to a 5-1 victory against Minnesota on Friday at Atkins Tennis Center.
It was Illinois’ sixth consecutive dual-match victory.
“The guys continue to battle regardless of circumstances,” Illini coach Brad Dancer said. “We have a ton of respect for ... how hard Minnesota always plays. We knew it was going to be a tough match.”
In women’s tennis:
Squad edges Minnesota. Illinois won the doubles point and went on to defeat host Minnesota 4-3.
“We’ve had seven 4-3 matches this year. It’s pretty simple: If we win the doubles point, we win those matches,” UI coach Michelle Dasso said. “I was proud of the girls’ prematch atmosphere they created and the competitive spirit on the court. We are looking forward to finishing off the regular season on a high note Sunday.”
Allison Falkin and Melissa Kopinski won their No. 1 doubles match 8-5. Alexis Casati and Jerricka Boone won their No. 3 doubles match 8-3.
Falkin and Kopinski also won their singles matches to propel the Illini to victory.
In men’s track & field:
McAsey third. Illinois’ Joe McAsey placed third in the 800-meter open run Friday at the Mt. SAC Relays in Walnut, Calif.
McAsey was clocked in 1 minute, 50.65 seconds.