The University of Illinois Springfield baseball team defeated the Tusculum Pioneers on Friday by a score of 8-2 to open the 2024 season and begin Coach Trevor Forde's era of UIS baseball. The second game of the series was halted in the 3rd inning with UIS ahead 1-0. Saturday's games were postponed due to persisting rain in the Eastern Tennessee region. The teams will now play a three-game series, set to resume Sunday, Feb. 11 at 10 a.m. Central time (11:00 a.m. Eastern).
GAME ONE SUMMARY (W, 8-2)
- UIS took to scoring in the top of the 1st when a Mark Kattula double sent Brant Vanaman home. TJ Yakimisky followed up with an RBI single
- The next Prairie Stars run was also an RBI for Yakimisky. Mack Clark then doubled to right field for Yakimisky to score to make it a 4-0 game after three innings
- Tusculum turned to their reliever in the top of the 6th and UIS scored three runs on three hits to go up 7-0
- Johnny Colombo would score the final run for the Prairie Stars in the 8th
- The Pioneers were unable to respond until late, putting up one run in each of the final two innings
- Gavin Wahlbrink earned the win, going six innings and striking out eight in his first start as a Prairie Star. The Springfield, Ill. native made 13 appearances in relief a season ago
- Mark Kattula led the offense with two hits, two runs, and an RBI. UIS totaled five extra-base hits. Mack Clark's two hits were both doubles, and Brant Vanaman added a triple
GAME TWO (Halted, UIS leads 1-0 in the 3rd)
- Adam Lindsey had the start for the Prairie Stars and kept the Pioneers off the scoreboard for both innings pitched
- The sole run of the halted game was a Mack Clark homer in the second inning
- The game is set to resume on Sunday, weather permitting
The series is will resume on Sunday morning. The final game of the series will be played on Sunday following the conclusion of the halted game.