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Illinois Baseball falls to Iowa, 6-5

Doran Turchin homered twice Thursday and Illinois hit four solo home runs in a 6-5 loss to Iowa at Illinois Field. The Hawkeyes also hit four solo homers to stay in the hunt for the Big Ten regular season title.

Illinois (22-27, 8-14 Big Ten) had the tying run on third base with two outs in the ninth inning when Mark Skonieczny hit what looked like a gap shot to right center field. Iowa's Justin Jenkins, who had entered the game in the ninth as a defensive replacement, turned the game-tying hit to the game-ending out with a highlight-reel diving catch just above the turf.

The Illini built a 3-1 lead by the end of the second inning with the help of back-to-back home runs from Bren Spillane and Trent Hammond, but Iowa answered with back-to-back-to-back home runs in the top of the third. The three straight blasts gave Iowa a 4-3 lead, an advantage they would not relinquish.

Iowa (33-18, 14-8 Big Ten) was led by Robert Neustrom's two-homer day. Jake Adams hit his Big-Ten-best 22nd home run and Mason McCoy added a solo shot, as the wind was blowing out to straight away center field for the entire game.

Turchin had three hits, while Casey Dodge, Michael Massey and Ben Troike all had two hits for Illinois.

Ty Weber (2-7) took the loss after allowing five runs on four hits in 3 1/3 innings. Nick Gallagher (8-1) earned the win by throwing six innings and allowing five runs (four earned) on seven hits.

Quinten Sefcik gave Illinois 4 2/3 solid innings, allowing just one run son three hits and striking out four. That kept the Illini in the game from the fourth through the eighth.

Illinois must beat Iowa twice and have Purdue (3 games) and Michigan State (2 games) lose out in order to qualify for the Big Ten Tournament.

Iowa is tied in the Big Ten wins column with Minnesota (14-6), Nebraska (14-7-1) and Michigan (14-8).