Local Sports

Illinois Drops Big Ten Tourney Opener

Maryland hit two home runs in the eighth inning Wednesday to break a 1-1 tie and beat the No. 20 Illinois baseball team 6-2 in the Big Ten Tournament's first round at TD Ameritrade Park.


Maryland (29-27) powered past Illinois with two-run homers from Maxwell Costes and Justin Vought in the eighth. After the Terrapins added another run in the ninth, Illinois scored a put two runners on to bring the potential tying run to the on-deck circle, but two straight punch outs ended the threat. 


Andy Fisher started and turned in his fifth straight quality start for Illinois. Fisher worked 6 1/3 innings, allowing only one run on five hits and striking out four. Sean Leland (6-3) took the loss after allowing the two homers in one inning.


Hunter Parsons (10-3) was dominant for Maryland, going 7 1/3 innings and allowing one run on four hits. He threw 123 pitches to earn his 10th win of the year. 


Illinois (36-18) has a long road back in the tournament bracket, having to win four straight games in three days to get to Sunday's championship. Illinois would have to win Thursday at 9 a.m. CT, Friday at 3:30 p.m. CT, Saturday at 9 a.m. CT and again Saturday at 5 p.m. CT to get to the championship game Sunday at 1 p.m. CT.


Illinois drops to Thursday's losers' bracket game at 9 a.m. CT against Michigan.

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