Cougars Out Hit Illini But Fall Short In Road Test

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Champaign, Ill. - As far as non-conference tests go, the Concordia University Chicago Cougar baseball team faced their toughest of the season today. CUC traveled to Champaign, to take on division one University of Illinois Fighting Illini. The Cougars battled all day, out hitting the Illini 10-9, but ultimately came up short by a final score of 9-6.
As a team, CUC combined for ten hits on the day, led by Connor Brandonwho went 2-4 with a home run and three RBI's. Bryan Van Duser also went 2-4 while scoring two runs and driving home one. Mitch Wilsondrove in two as well.
Adam Schmitt got the start for CUC, going four innings while allowing six runs on four hits. Keaton ConnerBrian MusielakAlex Meyers and Mike Formella all followed, throwing one inning each.
CUC broke through first with a run in the second inning. Kevin Coppin singled to right center, and then advanced to second on an error. With two outs and Coppin on third, Brandon singled back up the middle to score the opening run.
The Illini answered by getting three back in the second on a home run and two hits. CUC recovered in the third by getting one back. VanDuser and Joe Silva reached to start the inning, and VanDuser was brought home on an RBI groundout by Wilson.
Unfortunately for CUC, the Illini were able to add two more runs in the third after loading the bases. Illinois then made it 6-2 in the fourth with on a single down the third base line, which scored a two out triple.
CUC continued to battle, getting three back in the top of the sixth. Coppin was hit by a pitch with one out to get a runner on. With two outs, Brandon launched his first homerun of the season over the left field wall, pulling CUC back within 6-4. Aaron Wicker followed by drawing a full count walk and quickly stole second. He then raced around to score when VanDuser singled back up the middle to pull back within 6-5.
Illinois was able to make it 9-5 in the eighth by launching two homeruns. The first coming off of the bat of Bren Spillane, his second of the day. CUC got a single run back in the ninth, when Wilson doubled home VanDuser, leading to the 9-6 final score.
The Cougars will now ready for NACC play which opens on Saturday afternoon. CUC is set to take on Edgewood College in the home opener at 12:00pm.