Illinois survives 15-inning marathon, extends nation's-best win streak to 16
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- An infield single from Casey Fletcher with two outs and the bases loaded in the 15th inning sent No. 10 Illinois to a 4-2 victory against Penn State on Saturday.
The win extends Illinois’ nation-best winning streak to 16 games.
Fletcher hit a grounder to second baseman Taylor Skerpon whose only play was to second, but his flip to the shortstop was not in time to get catcher Jason Goldstein on the force out, allowing Ryan Nagle to score. A passed ball during the next at bat allowed an insurance run to score.
Illinois starter Drasen Johnson limited Penn State (13-25, 2-11 B1G) to just an unearned run in the first inning, yielding just two of five hits allowed after the first inning. He also walked one while striking out four.
Lefty Tyler Jay took over in the eighth and pitched six innings, allowing the game-tying run in the ninth, as well as six hits and a walk, while striking out seven. Nick Blackburn (2-0) pitched the 14th and 15th innings, retiring all six Lions batters he faced, striking out half of them, to earn the win.
Fletcher went 3-for-6 with a walk and the game-winning RBI, while designated hitter Pat McInerney went 3-for-7. Adam Walton (two RBI) and left fielder Ryan Nagle (run) both went 2-for-7.
Illinois out-hit Penn State 13-11 and stranded 11 base runners, while PSU left 10 on board.