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Bren Spillane out versus Rutgers on Saturday

The Illini are without their best player against the Knights.

Tom Jozefowicz

Illinois first baseman/designated hitter Bren Spillane will miss his first game of the season Saturday afternoon versus Rutgers.

Spillane, who had started the first 29 games of the season, is dealing with a nagging ankle injury. He played two innings in Friday night’s series opener against the Knights, going 2-for-2 with a double and a triple.

Spillane is batting .457 and has 14 home runs and 43 RBI through 29 games. He was named Baseball America’s and Rawling’s Midseason National Player of the Year.