Troy State drops Fighting Illini, 9-5

Published 12:00 am Sunday, February 18, 2001

The Troy State baseball team rallied with a six-run eighth inning to come back and defeat Illinois, 9-5, at Riddle-Pace Field on Saturday.

The Trojans (5-4) opened up the scoring in the bottom of the second inning when junior Collin Holder scored the runner on third, Josh Kendrick, who beat out the throw home.

The Fighting Illini (0-1) then answered the following inning, scoring three runs off of two home runs to take a 3-1 lead over Troy State. Illinois’ Brady Ballard and Rob Fischer both homered in the inning.

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After a scoreless fourth inning, Illinois added to its lead, scoring two more runs in the top of the fifth. Fischer hit his second two-run home run of the game, giving him two hits and four RBIs in four times at bat.

Down 5-3 going into the bottom of the eighth, the Trojans fought back to take the lead once again. Senior short stop Casey Smith, a native of Cottonwood, Ala., scored the first run of the inning due to a throwing error by the Illinois catcher, after reaching on a throwing error by the pitcher. With two outs and bases loaded, senior Tim Ellis, an outfielder from Dothan, Ala., nailed a two-run double to center field to put the Trojans ahead, 6-5.

The Trojans kept the momentum going, scoring three more runs in the eighth. With bases loaded again, freshman Wade Miller came home when Illinois pitcher Matt Vorwald hit his second batter of the inning. The last two runs came from a two-run single to right field by Smith in his second appearance at the plate in the inning for the Trojans.

Senior Mickey Oquinn (1-0), a native of Pensacola, Fla., earned the win on the mound for Troy State. Oquinn allowed no runs and two hits with six strikeouts in four and one-thirds innings. Aaron Hunt, a junior from Gainesville, Fla., was the starter for Troy State, throwing the first four and two-thirds innings.

Junior Matt Vorwald (0-1) suffered the loss for the Fighting Illini, allowing four runs and one hit in two-thirds of an inning. Andy Dickinson served as the starter for Illinois, while Ryan Kvasnicka and Casey Hahn also made appearances.