The Illini baseball squad (14-11, 2-1 Big Ten) garnered their straight win against the Boilermakers (5-18, 1-2 Big Ten) with a score of 8-3 today at Illinois Field.
Coach Dan Hartleb said in an interview with Illini Productions after the game, "It's nice to win a Big Ten series, and that's what you have to do. Obviously, you'd like a sweep, but if things didn't go well the first game you find a way to fight back and win two... and at the same time you can't sit here and live on what we've done... we have to get better."
The Illini struck right off the bat with a run in the first with an RBI groundout from Jason Goldstein that brought in Will Krug. The Illini got red hot with 4 runs in the second, starting with two singles to left field from Pat McIrney and Casey Fletcher. Ryne Roper then advanced to first with a bunt and a throwing error by the catcher that brought home Jason Goldstein. Casey Fletcher then scored on a sacrifice fly to center from Adam Walton. Michael Hurwitz then brought home Ryan Roper with a double to left, followed by a single from Jason Goldstein to left field that scored Michael Hurwitz.
Purdue then struck back the next half inning with two runs of their own on two hits, though that didn't quiet the Illini. Illinois earned two RBIs from Ryan Roper and Andrew Walton, who both sent one down the left side, and runs earned from Pat McIrney and Casey Fletcher.
The game went scoreless until the sixth inning, when Purdue and Illinois both scored one run, with an RBI coming from David Kerian that scored Michael Hurwitz on the Illinois side. From here, both teams remained silent for the remainder of the game.
Rob McDonnell earned his second win of the year for the Illini with five innings pitched, with performances as well by Nick Blackburn, Ronnie Muck, Tyler Jay, and Reid Roper.
Next up for the Illini is
a heated match up with Missouri at Busch Stadium in St. Louis. at 6:30 Pm on April 2 the beginning of a three-game series with Northwestern in Evanston on the fourth at 3 PM.