After cracking the collegiate baseball newspaper’s Top 25 rankings last week, the Fighting Illini jumped up another spot after a 2-1 weekend at the First Pitch Invitational in Greenville, South Carolina. Illinois is now one of two teams ranked in Baseball America’s “Top 25” list, jumping into the 24th spot overall (Indiana is ranked 18th).
With a concerning weather forecast looming over last weekend’s schedule, the Illini combined with Furman University and Michigan State to restructure the weekend series to include a double header on Saturday. Quinn Snarskis earned his first win as an Illini starter through three starts this season on Friday, pitching six innings of one run baseball (6 hits, 3 strikeouts). Andy Fisher also joined the “first win of the season” club after dealing 5.2 innings of scoreless baseball. Even Ty Weber had a decent outing on the back end of Saturday’s doubleheader, surrendering just 2 runs over 4.2 innings.
Offensively, Ben Troike capped a 16 game hitting streak with a pair of 3-hit ballgames on Friday and Saturday. Despite going hit-less in Saturday afternoon’s game, Troike was responsible for 5 runs and 4 RBIs over the weekend. Michael Massey and Bren Spillane also had multi-RBI games over the weekend, which pushed both players into the Top-15 of Big Ten Batting Leaders for the 2018 season.
Illinois will face UW-Milwaukee in their home opener at Illinois Field this Wednesday afternoon.