Jordan Parr hit two home runs to lead Illinois to a 6-4 win over Georgia Tech in an NCAA regional Friday.
Illinois (35-18) took a 4-0 lead after Parr’s second home run. His twin brother Justin Parr led off the fourth with a single, and Jordan Parr hit a two-run homer that bounced off the top of the 35-foot wall in left field. Parr also hit the first pitch of the sixth for his eighth homer.
In the bottom of the ninth, Tech’s leadoff batter Thomas Smith walked, and two outs later Zane Evans also walked, giving the Yellow Jackets (34-26) runners on first and second. Daniel Palka, who represented the winning run, followed Evans to the plate, and his sharply hit low line drive was snared by Illinois first baseman David Kerian for the final out of the game.
Kevin Duchene (9-1), the Big Ten freshman of the year, scattered eight hits over seven innings and allowed three runs.
“I really want to credit Illinois,” Tech coach Danny Hall said. “Offensively, I thought we hit some balls awfully hard, but right at them. We just couldn’t quite get that two-out hit. They really just limited us to one run at a time. I thought we did a good job of getting back into the game, but couldn’t quite crack the code.”
Tech got on the scoreboard with two runs in the sixth, closing the gap to 4-2. After Evans drew a two-out walk, Palka and Sam Dove delivered consecutive triples. Smith made the score 4-3 with a one-out solo homer over the left-field wall in the seventh.
The Jackets left runners on first and third in the sixth and eighth innings.
Illinois tacked on a pair of insurance runs in the eighth to stave off Tech, which has lost six of its past eight.
Palka was 3-for-5 with a triple, an RBI and two runs scored. He also pitched 1 2/3 innings of scoreless relief.
Jackets starter Dusty Isaacs (4-8) pitched 5 1/3 innings, allowing four runs on five hits.
Tech will face the loser of Friday’s Vanderbilt-East Tennessee State game at 3 p.m. Saturday. The game can be viewed on ESPNU and on the Internet at ESPN3.