David Kerian hit a two-run home run in the fifth and the No. 8 Illinois baseball team added four runs in the sixth and eighth innings for a 10-1 win over Eastern Illinois on Tuesday night at Illinois Field.
The win extends the longest winning streak in the nation to 14 and the best start in program history. The Illini (33-6-1) improved to 17-2 at home and 8-0 in midweek games overall. Illinois has not lost since the new scoreboard has gone up at Illinois Field.
EIU scored its lone run in the first on an RBI groundout before the Illini tallied 10 runs.
Casey Fletcher recorded the first Illini hit in the fifth and Kerian followed with a two-run home run to put the Illini ahead 2-1. It was the first baseman's ninth home run this season to tie him for the Big Ten lead.
The Illini added four runs in the sixth, starting with Fletcher's two-run single with the bases-loaded. Ryne Roper and Kelly Norris-Jones each forced a run in on bases-loaded walks to cap the inning.
Norris-Jones added a RBI triple in the eighth, and crossed the plate when Adam Walton hit an RBI single. Matthew James knocked in the final run.
Rob McDonnell (5-1) gave up four hits and struck out six in six innings of work. Nick Blackburn entered in relief and threw a scoreless frame in the seventh before closer Tyler Jay threw two perfect innings, including three strikeouts.
The Illini will finally see some action on the road when they travel to Penn State on Friday for a three-game series this weekend.