Illini Fight Off Tournament Elimination Behind Kravetz’s Pitching
John Kravetz threw his first career shutout and top-seeded Illinois stayed alive in the Big Ten Tournament by beating Michigan State 2-0 on Friday night. The Illini (47-7-1) will face third-seeded Michigan (35-23) on Saturday.
Kravetz (5-0), a senior who'd never thrown a complete game, scattered six hits and struck out two without a walk Friday at Target Field in Minneapolis.
Illinois, which had won a Big Ten record 27 straight until losing 2-1 to Maryland on Thursday, had just four hits and left nine runners on base, but came away with the victory.
Spartans starter Anthony Misiewicz (5-4) gave up two hits and two unearned runs in 2 2-3 innings, but walked five as Michigan State (34-23) was eliminated.
With two outs in the third, Misiewicz walked two around an error by shortstop Ryan Richardson to load the bases.
Catcher Jason Goldstein hit a two-run single to drive in the only runs. He said Kravetz was a different pitcher Friday than he'd seen of late.
"It was surprising those last two or three starts where he was kind of struggling, and it was just awesome to see him come out right from the bullpen and see that everything was on in the game and it was just great to see," Goldstein said.
"He (Kravetz) has been very, very good for us in the past, so for him to go out there tonight and be in command the entire evening, even when a runner or two got on base and sustain his composure was just outstanding," said Illinois Head Coach Dan Hartleb.
Illinois advances to a 1 p.m. Saturday matchup against Michigan, and hope to play the Wolverines again at 9 p.m. for a shot at Sunday's title game.