Baseball has a blast in opener

COOKEVILLE, Tenn. — Jordan Parr and Thomas Lindauer drove in three runs apiece to back effective performances on the mound and in the field as Illinois rolled to a season-opening 13-2 baseball victory against Tennessee Tech on Friday.

“I was very pleased with the first outing,” Illini coach Dan Hartleb said. “We played all three aspects of the game very, very well.”

Five batters had multiple hits for the Illini, who pounded out 16 for the game. Jordan Parr and Justin Parr each went 3 for 6, while Lindauer, Davis Hendrickson and Reid Roper contributed two hits apiece.

The Golden Eagles countered with 11 hits, but Illini starter Kevin Johnson (1-0) and three relievers limited the damage with 11 strikeouts and the help of two double plays. Tennessee Tech left 12 runners on base.

“Defensively, we played very well and did not give up any cheap outs,” Hartleb said. “Offensively, we were very aggressive, and the difference in the game today is we got a lot of two-out hits. We took advantage of some of the mistakes they made and capitalized on their errors.”

Johnson worked six innings, scattering nine hits and striking out six while allowing one run. The senior right-hander threw strikes on 60 of his 88 pitches.

“Kevin Johnson was a bit pumped up over the first couple innings and missed some locations but battled through that and ended up giving us a great start,” Hartleb said.

Freshmen Ryan Castellanos and J.D. Nielsen, and sophomore Josh Ferry followed Johnson with one inning apiece, combining to hold the Golden Eagles to two hits and one run the rest of the way.

Eight Illini batters recorded a hit and every starter reached base at least once.

“We were solid up and down the lineup,” Hartleb said. “Even the guys who didn’t get RBIs or hits still moved runners to put the next guys in position to do so. I was very pleased with what we did from top to bottom.”

Men's golf adds assistant. Justin Fetcho was hired as assistant men’s golf coach on Friday, replacing Zach Guthrie, who is caddying for brother Luke on the PGA Tour.

Fetcho, a native of Eldorado in southern Illinois, was assistant golf coach at Oregon.

“It’s great to have the opportunity to come back home and I want to thank Coach Small for giving it to me,” Fetcho said. “The Illini golf program speaks for itself and the chance to work with one of the game’s best coaches is unbelievable.”

Softball drops pair. Jess Perkins and Jessica Davis had the only hits as the Illini fell 3-0 to No. 6 Texas on Friday at the Hilton Houston Plaza Invite in Houston, Texas. Pepper Gay allowed three runs on five hits but walked eight to fall to 2-2 on the season.

Perkins drove in a run with a third-inning single, but that was the lone run the Illini could muster in an 8-1 loss to Houston in the nightcap. Illini pitchers walked eight again.

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