After Indiana gained an early 1-0 lead off an RBI single by Brad Hartong, Illinois recovered with a solo home run by Adam Walton in the first inning followed by another solo home run by Jason Goldstein to take a 2-1 lead. The Fighting Illini added insurance runs in the third, fourth and fifth innings, while IU would not score another run the rest of the game.
The series resumes tomorrow at 4:05 p.m. at Illinois Field.
Here is a full report from IU media relations on the game.
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. -- Indiana with toe-to-toe with No. 11 Illinois in the hit column but lost Friday evening's series opener at Illinois Field, 5-1.
Illinois, which extended its nation-best winning streak to 12 games, scored in four of the first five innings and registered hits in the first six to jump out to a 5-1 lead.
The Hoosiers scored in the first inning for the fifth straight game, but failed to produce a run the rest of the way, stranding six runners in scoring position.
In the opening frame, Rodrigue reached on a hit by pitch, advanced to second on Craig Dedelow's groundout and scored IU's lone run on a RBI single from Hartong.
Illinois tied the game in the first inning and took a 2-1 lead in the third on solo home runs from Adam Walton and Jason Goldstein, respectively.
The Illini tagged on another run in the fourth inning before tallying two in the bottom of the fifth, the most UI had in an inning, to take a 5-1 lead it would maintain through the end of the game.
Sophomore RHP Evan Bell, who entered the game in the fifth with zero outs and runners on second and third, minimized the damage as UI scored just one run on a RBI single. Bell finished the game, giving up just three total hits while striking out four.
Rodrigue led the way with three hits, marking the ninth time in his career he's reached that figure.