PBR Future Games: Illinois Day 3 Recap

By Andy Sroka
Staff Writer

WESTFIELD, Ill. – Things were looking up for Team Illinois on Day 3 of the PBR Future Games, as they took a 3-0 lead into the bottom of the fourth inning on Saturday evening against Team Indiana, but it wasn’t meant to be this year. Illinois’ big second inning was all the offense Indiana allowed them to muster and they put together a big inning themselves in the fourth to snag the lead and, ultimately, the victory.

After a quiet first frame, 3B Joshua Houston (Mount Carmel, 2020) worked a walk to lead off the second. Team Illinois’ hottest hitter, SS/2B Anthony Livermore (Mount Carmel, 2020), smacked another single to right. After a groundout moved both baserunners up, SS/2B Connor Hincks’ (Benet, 2020) grounded a ball to short that brought in the game’s first run. OF Connor Milton (Champaign Central, 2020) drew another walk and he quickly came around to score when C Jack Payton (Brother Rice, 2020) waited back on a breaking ball and launched it to deep center, well over the head of the defender, allowing Livermore and Hincks to score with ease, handing Illinois a 3-0 lead in the process.

RHP Zach Hise (Joliet Catholic, 2020) pitched around some trouble in the second to preserve the 3-0 lead. Offensively, Team Illinois had a tough time getting anything going against Indiana’s arms. The team went hitless against Indy all the way until the seventh when Livermore took advantage of yet another first-pitch fastball, dumping a single into shallow center. Outside of that base hit, Illinois was shut down after that three-run second frame.

Indiana marched into the lead back in the fourth inning after back-to-back walks put the tying run at the plate, SS Jackson Taylor (Yorktown, IN; 2020), who lined base hit to center that got past a diving OF Isaiah Jackson (Champaign Central, 2020) allowing Taylor to speed around the bags to touch home and tie it up. He eventually scored on the inning’s second triple, this time from the sizzling SS Camryn Szynski (Penn, iN; 2020), his second extra-base hit of the game.

Two more runs in the fifth and another in the sixth took Indiana into a 7-3 lead, which was more than enough for their arms to hold on to. Illinois fell by that same score, finishing winless at Future Games, 0-2-1.

Regardless of their record, there were still some stellar individual performances from Team Illinois. We’ll shine the spotlight on a few of those deserving players post-Future Games, so keep an eye out for that in the coming days and weeks.

If you missed a Statistical Analysis of the Future Games workout, CLICK HERE. Keep checking back for a look at Scout Blog later.

For a full Illinois Future Games Roster, CLICK HERE.