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Illinois Baseball: Who’s Hot & Who’s Cold

The Illini have dropped their first two Big Ten series.

As Illinois gets deeper in the season, it’s always a good idea to look at some of the Illini’s numbers. Here are a list of players who have been doing well, and some who haven’t done as well.

Who’s Hot

Andy Fisher

ERA: 3.35, W-L: 3-1, IP: 48.1, SO: 51 BB: 17

Despite a loss to Maryland on Friday night, Fisher pitched eight shutout innings, his longest outing of the season and a career-high outing of 8.1 innings. The lefty is a key part of Illinois’ rotation. Left-handed pitchers prove to have more movement and are more effective against left-handed hitters, which we saw when the three lefties in Maryland’s lineup were 0-for-9 with five strikeouts against Fisher.

Fisher also has the most innings pitched and strikeout’s in the Illini’s rotation.

Ty Weber

ERA: 1.74, W-L: 2-1, IP: 41.1, SO: 23 BB: 14

Ty Weber has the best ERA on Illinois’ staff, and he guided the Illini to their first Big Ten win of the season against Maryland on Saturday, which also ended up being Weber’s best game of the season. Weber pitched 7.2 innings and gave up one run. His longest outing of the season was 8.2 frames against Illinois State.

Grant Van Scoy

AVG: .383, OB%: .463, OPS: .969% HR: 1 RBI: 11

Van Scoy increased his batting average this weekend, along with extending his career-long hitting streak to 11 games and reached-base streak to 13 games. Although he is good at the plate, he does struggle defensively with a .942 fielding percentage, but his batting average seems to make up for that.

Van Scoy’s best game hitting-wise this season was against Illinois State, where he had two runs, three hits, one home run and two RBI’s with an avg of .380. He hit just short of the cycle (no home run) in Saturday’s win over the Terrapins.

Michael Massey

AVG: .336, OB%: .422, OPS: .908% HR: 3 RBI: 15

While Illinois just got him back on the field over the weekend, Massey has served as the designated hitter while recovering from an injury and has done well for the Illini in this position. Before the series this past weekend, Massey had a 12-game hitting streak and a 14-game on-base streak.

Massey went 1-for-10 against Maryland, but is still among the most valuable Illini at this point in the season.

Who’s Cold

Branden Comia

AVG: .240, OB%: .301, OPS: .632 HR: 2 RBI: 13

The freshman infielder from Orland Park, Illinois has done well filling in at second base while Massey was out with an injury. However, he lacks when it comes to stepping up to the plate.

Comia has started in 28 games and played in 29 — the first game where he didn’t start was on Saturday, when Massey made his season debut back in the infield. Comia has consistently hit at the number two-spot of the lineup, but his numbers prove different. Comia still has time to develop his hitting, and going from high school baseball to D1 baseball is a tough transition that could attribute to his struggles at the plate.

Jacob Campbell

AVG: .186, OB%: .275, OPS: .577, HR: 1, RBI: 7

The freshman catcher was in the MLB Draft for the Chicago Cubs in 2018 and now, Campbell is tied with Branden Comia for the second worst fielding percentage at .959. And for someone who was ranked No. 1 newcomer in the Big Ten, he hasn’t proved that to be true this season. Campbell struggles at the plate, but being young, and with the rankings he came into the year with, he has potential to be a great asset behind the plate for the Illini.

Illinois isn’t set to face another ranked team for the rest of the season. With Zac Taylor and Michael Massey returning to the field from injuries, it could be what the Illini need to improve and get a spot in the NCAA tournament.

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