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Illinois Rally Falls Short in First Round of Big Ten Tournament

Seventh-seeded Illinois (25-26) fell to [2] Indiana (41-16), 4-3, in the opening round of the Big Ten Tournament on Tuesday at Charles Schwab Field Omaha.


The Illini were locked into a pitcher's duel early with starter Jack Wenninger holding the Hoosiers scoreless through the first four innings of the ballgame. Wenninger struck out four and stranded three baserunners.


Illinois found the breakthrough in the top half of the fifth when Danny Doligale led off the inning with a walk and Branden Comia brought him home with an RBI-double into the right-center gap to make it 1-0.


Indiana would take the lead the bottom of the fifth by scoring twice. The Illini would send just one batter over the minimum against the Hoosiers from the sixth to the eighth, picking up just one hit against Hoosier pitching during that stretch.


TJ Constertina and Joe Glassey combined for 2.2 scoreless, and hitless, innings in relief to keep the Illini in the game, but the Hoosiers would make it a three-run game by scoring two more times in the eighth to make it a 4-1 contest.


Illinois attempted a furious rally in the ninth, which began with a two-out infield single from pinch-hitter Coltin Quagliano. Comia then worked a walk in a lengthy at-bat to load the bases for Cam McDonald. McDonald would reach on an error that would result in two runs scoring to make it a 4-3 game, but the Illini would leave runners on the corners to end the game.


Comia went 1-for-3 with a double, RBI and two walks, extending his season-high hitting streak to 12 games. 


The Fighting Illini will now face [6] Michigan in an elimination game tonight at 7:00 p.m. CT.

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