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March 18, 2014

Metro roundup: ISU baseball shut out by Fighting Illini

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — For only the second time this season, the Indiana State baseball team failed to plate a run in a game as they lost to the University of Illinois Fighting Illini 8-0 in a mid-week non-conference game played at Illinois Field.

“You have to take it for what it is worth,” ISU coach Mitch Hannahs said. “Obviously we have some things that we have to shore up. We didn’t get the ball to the right base from the outfield a couple of times and I thought we pressed a little bit when we got behind four or five runs.”

Leading the Sycamores’ offense, Cody Zimmerman has now hit safely in 11 straight games and posted his 10th multiple hit game of the season with a double and a single.

It was the first time that Indiana State failed to score since their season opener against Auburn (4-0) in the Snowbird Classic at Port Charlotte, Fla.

Derek Hannahs has now hit safely in nine straight games with his single in the fifth inning. Terre Haute North graduate Tony Rosselli and Brian Romero had pinch-hit doubles.

Indiana State used five pitchers on the day, starting with Trent Lunsford who went three innings in being charged with the loss. Lunsford (0-1) gave up three runs on six hits while striking out one and walking two. Austin Conway made his second appearance of the season and Tyler Browning his third appearance while Nick Martin and John Robert Patterson each were called to the mound for the first time this season.

Illinois scored twice in the second, once in the third, four times in the fifth, and picked up another in the seventh.

“You have to give Illinois credit,” Hannahs said. “Their guy came out and threw extremely well in the first five innings and really kind of gave them a jump start. You can’t play good teams on the road from behind. We got behind today and had to battle uphill. It wasn’t a good day for us from that standpoint but we learned a lot today. We got some things we need to shore up and we will go back to the work shed and get better.”

Indiana State fell to 14-3 on the season and opens Missouri Valley Conference action on the road this weekend. The Sycamores will play Evansville at 7 p.m. EDT Friday, 2 p.m. Saturday, and 1 p.m. Sunday. Illinois improved to 8-9 on the season as it opened their home season.

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