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    Illinois Topples Northwestern, 11-8

    NUSPORTSDOTCOM Senior Jason Krynski had three RBI in NU's 11-8 Friday afternoon loss to Illinois.
    Senior Jason Krynski had three RBI in NU's 11-8 Friday afternoon loss to Illinois.

    May 7, 2004

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    EVANSTON, Ill. - Northwestern scored seven runs late in the game but it wasn't enough as Illinois defeated the Wildcats 11-8 Friday afternoon at Rocky Miller Park. The Illini, which used a six-run sixth inning to take a 9-1 lead, improved to 19-25 overall, 8-13 in the Big Ten. NU fell to 19-22-1 overall and 8-13 Big Ten.

    The Illini scored three runs in the first four innings, followed by the six in the sixth inning. Illinois never trailed in the game.

    The Wildcats plated a single run in the bottom of the fifth inning, taking advantage of an Illinois error. Right fielder Jason Krynski hit a two-out double down the right field line, and scored two batters later on a fielding error by the U-of-I shortstop. Designated hitter Dan Brauer walked following Krynski.

    After Illinois scored six runs in the top half of the inning, NU mounted a comeback in the bottom of the sixth. The Wildcats plated five runs, and trailed 9-6 after six complete innings.

    In the bottom of the sixth, Matt Brimmer hit a one-out single to right field, followed by Mark Ori's single up the middle. Catcher Dan Pohlman loaded the bases with a single to right field. After a strikeout, Krynski hit what looked like a single to right field, but the ball took an NU hop over the right fielder's head, giving Krynski his second triple of the season. All three runners on base came around to score. After an Illinois pitching change, Brauer was issued his second free pass of the game. Krynski crossed the plate and Brauer moved to second on a wild pitch. Left fielder Anthony Wycklendt then lined a single to right field, plating Brauer from second for NU's fifth run of the inning.



    Junior Chris Hayes, who had relieved Konecny to end the sixth, gave up two runs in the seventh on three hits. Sophomore Julio Siberio relieved Hayes, hitting a batter before getting a fly out to left field to end the inning.

    NU answered with two runs of its own in the bottom half, as third baseman Josh Lieberman and center fielder Matt Brimmer scored on an Ori double. Lieberman and Brimmer both walked to lead off the inning, each advancing one base on a wild pitch. Ori followed with his 12th double of the season to left field. Ori and Krynski lead the team with 12 doubles apiece.

    Siberio and freshman Andrew Smith shut the door from there, combining to pitch two and one-third innings of no-run baseball, The duo walked one and gave up only one hit.

    Offensively for NU, Krynski was 2-for-4 with three RBI and two runs scored as Pohlman and Ori each went 2-for-5. Ori tallied two RBI in the contest. Brimmer scored two runs, batting second in the lineup, going 2-for-3 at the plate.

    Illinois and Northwestern are back on the diamond Saturday, playing two seven-inning contests at Rocky Miller Park. Game one is set for 1 p.m. (CDT).