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Illinois Baseball: No. 8 Illini win 17th straight, longest winning streak in program history

Illini sweep Penn State on the road.

Thomas Nelshoppen of Illinois Baseball Report

The No. 8 Illinois baseball team defeated Penn State 6-3 on Sunday at Medlar Field to complete a weekend sweep and improve the nation's longest winning streak to 17 games.

The streak is also now the longest in the program's history. Illinois (36-6-1, 13-1) has now won nine straight over the Nittany Lions (13-26, 2-12).

Illinois opened the series with a 10-1 blowout victory Friday and a record-setting 15-inning 4-2 win Saturday. David Kerian and Reid Roper both had four RBI Friday, including a grand slam in the third by Kerian. Roper launched a two-run home run to right field in the sixth.

On Saturday, Casey Fletcher hit an RBI single with the bases loaded and a passed ball by Penn State scored Roper for the win.

Blackburn picked up his second win of the season after he pitched two perfect innings with three strikeouts. Drasen Johnson allowed one unearned run. Tyler Jay had his longest outing of the season in six innings of work, he allowed just one run.

Penn State pushed across an unearned run in the bottom of the third to cut the Illini lead to 4-1.

Penn State loaded the bases in the fifth, but John Kravetz left them stranded after forcing a grounder to second base for the force out. Ryne Roper walked and Adam Walton was hit by pitch to put runners on before Ryan Nagle's sacrifice bunt pushed them into scoring position. The Illini were unable to push the runs across and left Roper and Walton stranded in the sixth.

In the bottom half of the inning, Penn State knocked in a run on an infield single but a double-play by the Illini ended the rally to hold a 5-2 lead. Jaosn Goldstein added a one-out home run in the ninth for a 6-3 lead. It was Goldstein's sixth home run of the season.

Blackburn struck out one in a perfect ninth for the save. Kratez allowed two earned runs on nine hits, walking one and hitting one batter in six innings of work.

The Illini travel back to Illinois to play Southern Illinois in Carbondale on Tuesday.

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