Series loss to Indiana forces Illinois’ hand

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Down to the wire for Coach Hartleb

One step forward.  Two steps back.

That’s the story of Illinois baseball as they enter the last regulation series of the season this weekend against Michigan.  One week after they defeated Maryland two games to one, they lost two of three to first place Indiana despite a formidable appearance (again) by Cody Sedlock on Friday.  Sedlock struck out 12 batters in 9 1/3 innings and kept it close as the Illini won a close one 2-1 in extras.

Sedlock didn’t get the win but his 12 strikeouts broke the team’s single season strikeout record.  His 109 Ks broke John Ericks’ record of 108.  Of course, Sedlock still has at least one start left.  FightingIllini.com has listed the accomplishments of Sedlock this season and they are many.

Despite some good pitching (combined seven runs allowed), the Illini offense couldn’t come up with enough runs against Indiana to win either Saturday or Sunday.   That gives Illinois a 26-22 overall record and more importantly, a 10-11 conference mark.  That puts them back in ninth place and not an ideal spot.  Eighth place or higher is where you need to be to advance to the Big Ten Tournament.

So what do the Illini need to do to advance?  The interns at FightingIllini.com have crunched the numbers and have provided us all of the viable scenarios.  The simple scenarios?  If Illinois wins all three, they’re Omaha-bound.  If they lose all three, they’re watching from home.  Any other scenario, it’s a little more complicated.

Game #46 / May 13, 2016
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There were some who thought Cody Sedlock was in line for another Big Ten Pitcher of Week award after this performance.  His 9 1/3 inning performance didn’t get the win but with 12 strikeouts while giving up just one run, he kept the Illini in it.

Pat McInerney blasted a homerun early in the game and Michael Hurwitz drove home Trent Hammond in the top of the 11th for the winning run.  Amongst the hoopla surrounding Cody Sedlock, Coach Hartleb took the time to recognize Hammond’s “at-bat of the game” in which he fouled off pitches until he drew that 11th inning walk.

Fighting Illini Game Wrapup

Random Ramblings

If you haven’t noticed, Tyler Jay is having a pretty decent spring for Class A Advanced Fort Myers.  Tyler has won his last two starts for the Miracle and struck out 13 batters in his last 13 1/3 innings.

Here he is getting interviewed by the Fort Myers Miracle PR guy:

Speaking of Andrew Mamlic, he leads the team with seven losses.  Don’t for a minute think that’s indicative of his performance though.  He’s been a hard luck pitcher this season with a respectable 3.95 ERA.

Michael Hurwitz had a great run.  After 26 straight games of getting on base, Indiana finally got to him.

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Mike Sterk

Finally, long time Illini baseball fans will remember relief pitcher Mike Sterk who pitched for Illinois from 2006-2009.  Well, Mike has traded his glove in for a keyboard.  He now blogs as “barstoolcarl” at barstoolsports.com as has been quite successful.

In fact, his latest column got  Cub pitcher Jake Arrieta’s attention.   Mike even went on the radio show 670 the Score to talk about it.  You can hear the show here.

Next up

Don’t forget… the series against Michigan starts on Thursday.  6pm is the start time.

Go Illini!


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One Response to “Series loss to Indiana forces Illinois’ hand”

  1. Great to see what Mike is doing! Enjoyed the read.
    Mentioning Mike Sterk brings back seeing him at the super-regionals. It was great to see him and several other alumni players!
    Just wish they had been able to get the crowd loud enough to drown out Vandy’s “Whistler”. That noise was unbearable and should be banned from any ballpark. Apparently, David Price was asked if he could get the guy to tone it down and the reply was “It’s tradition”. There are a lot of traditions that have been stopped over the years at many different institutions–this is one that needs to stop. An occasional whistle–sure; the incessant noise that was produced was painful.

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