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Bren Spillane, Ben Troike save the day as Illinois stays alive in Big Ten Tournament

Player of the Year Who? Also, Troike.

Jonathan Bonaguro

Bren Spillane hit a really far ball Friday night.

I’ve never been to TD Ameritrade Park, but I assume that’s far.

That’s not surprising, though. Spillane has 23 home runs now in 2018, the second-most in a single-season in Illinois history. But his 23rd broke a slump in the Big Ten Tournament and kept the Illini alive in their elimination game against Indiana in a 5-4 win that finished on a Ben Troike walk-off hit.

Troike extended his on-base streak to a nation-long 57 games in the first inning.

Illinois also beat the Hoosiers on Wednesday on the first day of the tournament.

Ty Weber got the start but exited in the fourth inning after allowing three runs, including one on homer.

The Illini had other chances in the game, like a bases-loaded opportunity, but third baseman Grant Van Scoy grounded into an inning-ending double play.

Indiana tied it up with a homer

Good thing Spillane exists.

Illinois lives to play another day, and Dan Hartleb’s team should be locks for the NCAA Tournament starting next week. The Illini will play No. 2-seed Purdue tomorrow.