Despite Jack’s jack, Illinois falls to SIU 8-5

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With a 3 for 3 game, Yalowitz’s average soars above .400

Up one win on the weekend, Illinois (5-10) couldn’t quite pull it off against Southern Illinois (10-9) Saturday afternoon despite another great game by Jack Yalowitz..  The Salukis took advantage of four unearned runs in the seventh inning to win 8-5. 

The Illini did however, put SIU starter Michael Baird’s scoreless streak to an end. They wasted no time in scoring two runs on six hits in the first innings.  Baird entered the game with a 0.00 ERA in four starts.  Baird did get the win but we can tack three earned runs on to his stats now.  Yalowitz had a lot to do with that as he went 3 for 3 with a two-run homerun.  He now has a nifty .426 batting average.

 

 

Game #15 / March 18, 2017    
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The formula was similar to Friday’s game but not quite right. Like Friday, Illinois got off to a lead, the opponent came back then Illinois fought back.  Illinois didn’t count on an ugly four-run rally which included an error, a balk and a wild pitch. 

The good news?  Jack Yalowitz isn’t slowing down.  He went 3 for 3 with his second homer of the weekend.  His two rbis today gives him seven for the first two games and in my opinion and good start to the Big Ten Player of the Week. 

DH Casey Dodge also had two hits with an rbi. 

Ty Weber (1-1) lost for the first time in his career allowing seven runs, four earned on seven hits in 6 1/3 innings.  Once the seventh inning was over, reliever Ryan Schmitt (above) settled down and pitched a solid 8th and 9th innings.

Fighting Illini Game Wrapup

Fighting Illini Box Score

Illinois Baseball Report photos for Friday

 

Random Ramblings

Just a reminder, I’m posting photos that I take at Illinois home games at the Illinois Baseball Report photo gallery.  I’ve been doing this since 2006 or so.  to save you the time, here is the direct link to this year’s gallery

I had a pleasant chat with the father of Assistant Coach Adam Christ on the sidelines during the game.  He told me that Coach Christ has been very focused on defense.  That doesn’t surprise me given the talent Illinois is developing in the infield this year.  They are really producing and showing great promise. 

I also found out a bit of trivia.  When Coach Christ played at Iowa State, he was teammates with former Illinois assistant coach Spencer Allen who is now head coach at Northwestern. 

Next up

Illinois has a full day tomorrow.  They will face Toledo at 11:00am.  Toledo has defeated Southern Illinois in both of their matchups. 

After that, Illinois will finish out the weekend with a re-match with the Salukis. 

Below is the full schedule of the weekend. 

 

Date Time (CT) Teams
Friday, March 17 12 p.m. Southern Illinois vs. Toledo
Friday, March 17 3:30 p.m. Illinois vs. Toledo (Koozie Giveaway)
Saturday, March 18 11 a.m. Southern Illinois vs. Toledo
Saturday, March 18 2:30 p.m. Illinois vs. Southern Illinois (Foam Glove Giveaway)
Sunday, March 19 11 a.m. Illinois vs. Toledo
Sunday, March 19 2:30 p.m. Illinois vs. Southern Illinois

See you at the ballpark!


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Illinois baseball treats fans to win at home opener 11-5

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Yalowitz says goodbye to this baseball

On Friday, Illinois baseball returned to the friendly confines of Illinois Field and all was good again. 

Taking on the University of Toledo Rockets who were coming off a win against SIU, the Illini won 11-5 thanks to five rbis by Jack Yalowitz and an effective performance by the bullpen.  That improves Illinois’ record to 5-9 for the season with three more games left this weekend.

The Illini’s leading hitter at .397, Yalowitz went 3 for 5 with a double, homer and five rbis.  Pat McInerney added another homerun, his fourth of the year which leads the team. 

 

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In relief, Quinten Sefcik (above) earned his second win of the year.  Combined with Cyrillo Watson and Ryan Thompson, the bullpen allowed just two hits and one run in the last 4 2/3 innings. 

 

 

Game #14 / March 17, 2017    
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With a 1-0 lead, Toledo fought back in the 3rd inning with a bases loaded triple to give Illinois something to think about.  That didn’t last too long though.  Jack Yalowitz hit a three-run homer in the fourth to re-take the lead which Illinois would never relinquish. 

Fighting Illini Game Wrapup

Fighting Illini Box Score

Illinois Baseball Report photos for Friday

 

Random Ramblings

So we’re 1-0 at home now doing what we do best.  Hit, hit hit, not to mention a little bit of good defense.  Check out this Brooks Robinson-esque play made by Trent Hammond. 

Glad to have Trent back at the hot corner. 

I had a chance to talk to Trent’s father, Kip Hammond during the game.  That’s always a special treat since the Hammonds hail from California.  Making the trip to Illinois is a big deal. 

Kip has been following the team on the road and gave me a bit of a scouting report.  Despite their rough start, it’s not all doom and gloom.  Kip used words like “team chemistry” and “absolute athleticism” to describe the Illini up and down the lineup. He also said that Illinois could have very easily gone 3-0 against Coastal Carolina.  It was a tight series and a lot of calls just didn’t go our way. 

Glad to have you here, Kip.  Enjoy the weather! 

Next up

Illinois will be out at Illinois Field this afternoon at 2:30pm to face the Salukis of Southern Illinois. 

Tomorrow is a full day.  Illinois will face both Toledo and SIU.  Sunday’s games begin at 11am.  Below is the full schedule of the weekend. 

 

Date Time (CT) Teams
Friday, March 17 12 p.m. Southern Illinois vs. Toledo
Friday, March 17 3:30 p.m. Illinois vs. Toledo (Koozie Giveaway)
Saturday, March 18 11 a.m. Southern Illinois vs. Toledo
Saturday, March 18 2:30 p.m. Illinois vs. Southern Illinois (Foam Glove Giveaway)
Sunday, March 19 11 a.m. Illinois vs. Toledo
Sunday, March 19 2:30 p.m. Illinois vs. Southern Illinois

See you at the ballpark!


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Home Sweet Home; Illinois hosts SIU and Toledo in round robin

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“It’s just good to be home.  You get to play on your own field, we have great fans here, and I think that’s a huge plus for us.”

Dan Hartleb via Daily Illini

For the first time this season, local fans will get to see the Illini baseball team at Illinois Field!  The Illini are hosting a three-team double round robin tourney including the University of Toledo Rockets and Coach Dan Hartleb’s alma mater, Southern Illinois University Salukis. 

Illinois is coming off a 4-9 road trip which has seen some great hitting and flashes of brilliance from the mound.  The pitching has been very inconsistent however and pitching coach Drew Dickinson is no doubt  working on that correct formula.

 

Fighting Illini weekend preview

Pitcher probables

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  • Friday  Cole Bellair: 1-1, 9.24 ERA
  • Saturday  Ty Weber: 1-0, 2.82 ERA
  • Sunday  Matthew James: 0-0, 6.23 ERA
  • Sunday  Luke Shilling: 1-0, 6.35 ERA 

With a four game weekend, it looks like Matt James (above) is given a chance to prove his stuff with his first start of the season.  The Big Ten season is coming up and I’ll bet Coach Hartleb wants plenty of options.  Ty Weber will hope to continue his solid pitching.  I’m hoping to see the Luke Shilling from last weekend who only gave up one hit in five innings (maybe leave the walks at home). 

A quick summary of the weekend…

 

Illinois Field
 
Champaign, Illinois

Fri. March 17

3:30 pm CT

 

 

Sun. March 19

11:00 am CT

 

 

vs

Toledo Rockets

utoledo

 

W-L: 2-14

Sat. March 18

2:30 pm CT

 

Sun. March 19

2:30 pm CT

vs

Southern Illinois Salukis


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W-L: 9-7

 

 My take on this weekend:  Toledo is off to a rough start with a 2-14 record so hopefully can get some confidence-building wins off of them.  Their last game was a win against the same Florida Atlantic team that took Illinois two games out of three. 

The good news is that the Rockets are hitting just .221 while their pitching is suffering as well (6.21 ERA).  They do have two quality starters in Calhoun and Achter who still haven’t gotten much support (combined 1-3 record. 

Disregard SIU’s won-loss record (which happens to a pretty decent 9-7).  In any year, the Salukis are a tough match for the Illini.  Coach Hartleb’s alma mater always comes ready to play.

SIU’s Michael Baird is looking like superman right now on mound.  Wouldn’t be great if Illinois registered the first earned run against him in his fifth start?  I think so.  Greg Lambert is hitting a solid .349 and leads SIU with 19 rbis. 

 

 

Random Ramblings

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If you all are wondering what the weather will be like, well, it’s Illinois.  You’ll get a little of everything.  Warmer on Friday but wet.  Hopefully, the rain will subside by gametime.  The weekend will be cooler in the 40s but nice and sunny. 

Get there early for your foam glove on Saturday!! 

Just a reminder… if you can’t make if out to the ballpark this weekend, FightingIllini.com will be streaming the video for free.  This goes for Illinois games only.  But really, if you’re in the area, come on out to park. 

Yes, the Illini are still ranked #2 in the nation in defensive double plays but how about this stat?  They currently lead the Big Ten and are #26 in the nation in homeruns per game (1.16).  Pat McInerney and Doran Turchin lead the way with 3 each.  More importantly, eight players have hit a homer and five have two or more. 

You have four games to choose from.  Get out to the park this weekend! 

Go Illini!!    


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Illinois baseball reap one win against #21 Coastal Carolina

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Second HR of the season for Bren Spillane on Friday

If you had told me last week that Illinois was going to win one game against a ranked team that was the defending national champion, I would have pleasantly accepted that.  Thing is, with baseball, you get greedy and you want more.  Especially with one win down and a second one almost in the books. 

Alas, I have to give the Coastal Carolina Chanticleers (9-7) credit for coming through.  After losing the first game on Friday, they rallied for a ninth inning win the second game on Saturday and then won the third easily.

The good news for the Illini (4-9) as they head for friendlier territory?  Starter Ty Weber is really showing us that he has good stuff.  Luke Shilling had a confidence-boosting start which will put him on a path to success.  Jack Yalowitz, Pat McInerney and Michael Massey continue to hit while hitters like Anthony Drago and Bren Spillane are now showing they too are to be reckoned with. 

 

Here’s a quick recap of the weekend.

 

Game #11 / March 10, 2017    
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Illinois played a little comeback ball against the Chants as they took a 6-4 deficit into the 7th inning when the bats came alive.  Doran Turchin drove home two runs in the 7th.  Tied 6-6 in the 8th, Jack Yalowitz singled in Tyler Engel for the win. 

Bren Spillane and Anthony Drago both homered for the Illini in the four-run fourth inning. 

Quinten Sefcik pitched 1 1/3 innings of scoreless ball for his first win and Ryan Schmitt earned his first save of the year. 

Fighting Illini Game Wrapup

Box

 

Game #12 / March 11, 2017    
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Illinois almost had this.  Michael Massey drove home two runs in the top of the first inning to start the game and Illinois kept that lead till the bottom of the ninth inning when back-to-back homers by the Chants took away the chance of a second win for the Illini. 

Illini starter Ty Weber pitched brilliantly.  In 7 2/3 innings, he gave up just one hit and one run on four walks and six strikeouts.  In fact, Weber didn’t give up the hit until the 8th inning.  Illini’s new prospect looks like the real deal!  

Fighting Illini Game Wrapup

Box

 

Game #13 / March 12, 2017    
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Fighting Illini Game Wrapup

Box

 

Random Ramblings

Going into the weekend, Illinois was leading the nation in defensive double plays.  Ironically, the Illini did not turn a single double dipper in any of the three games this past weekend.  They are now tied for 2nd with Duke with 21 behind Virginia Tech. 

Illinois weather is a funny thing.  In mid-February, games were being cancelled in Texas because of weather while at the same time, it was sunny and warm here in Champaign.  Well, it’s March now and the eve of our home opener.  Looking out the window, I see snow coming down.  Sure enough, tomorrow’s home opener against Northern Illinois (the day I look forward to every year) has been cancelled.  There has not been an announced makeup date yet.  Don’t put away your Illini gear though because…

Next up

…Illinois will be hosting a three-way round robin tournament this weekend at Illinois Field.  Here is the full schedule: 

 

Date Time (CT) Teams
Friday, March 17 12 p.m. Southern Illinois vs. Toledo
Friday, March 17 3:30 p.m. Illinois vs. Toledo (Koozie Giveaway)
Saturday, March 18 11 a.m. Southern Illinois vs. Toledo
Saturday, March 18 2:30 p.m. Illinois vs. Southern Illinois (Foam Glove Giveaway)
Sunday, March 19 11 a.m. Illinois vs. Toledo
Sunday, March 19 2:30 p.m. Illinois vs. Southern Illinois

See you at the ballpark!


Related posts

Illinois Baseball wraps up road trip with defending national champs #21 Coastal Carolina

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Cole Bellair: back on the mound

Illinois will take their 3-7 record on the road south one more time.  Visiting Conway, South Carolina, they will try their luck in a three-game series against the Coastal Carolina Chanticleers who were the NCAA national champions in 2016.   At 9-6, the Chants are ranked #21 in the country.  

With one more series left before returning home to Champaign, Illinois hopes to gain some momentum.  That momentum is especially important as the Big Ten season encroaches.  Illinois plays their first conference series against Michigan State in just two weeks. 

Fighting Illini weekend preview

Pitcher probables

  • Friday  Cole Bellair: 1-1, 9.45 ERA
  • Saturday  Ty Weber: 1-0, 3.68 ERA
  • Sunday  Luke Shilling: 1-0, 9.00 ERA 

Okay, part of me wonders if Coach Hartleb said, “If you won a game this year, step forward.  You get to pitch this weekend”.  Because, that is exactly what it looks like. 

We haven’t seen a lot from Cole Bellair but frankly, he has the most experience on this young staff.  From what I hear, Luke Shilling is still showing signs of good stuff in between getting lit up in the past two weekends. And aside from a rough start two weekends ago, Ty Weber has been the most consistent starter on the staff with a team low 3.68 ERA. 

A quick summary of the weekend…

 

Springs Brooks Stadium
 
Conway, South Carolina

Fri. March 10

3:00 pm CT

Sat. March 11

11:00 pm CT

(doubleheader)

 

vs

Coastal Carolina Chanticleers

chants

 

W-L: 9-6

 

 My take on the Chants:  This was going to be the big series of the non-conference season.  It’s still big but since the beginning of the season, the national champions have already lost six games.  Coastal Carolina now ranks #21 in the nation. 

Like the Illini, Coastal Carolina has been able to put the bat on the ball but pitching is a thorn in their side.  They now sport a 5.37 ERA.  Fortunately for the Chants, they have outscored their opponents if only by a slight margin (102-92). 

Starting pitcher Alex Cunningham has done well in his three outings (2-0, 2.75).  Kevin Woodall leads in the team in homers (7) and rbis (21).

 

Random Ramblings

In case you missed it, it’s worth mentioning that there won’t be a Sunday game.  Due to projected bad weather in South Carolina, there will be a scheduled doubleheader on Saturday.

I don’t know about you but I’m excited about next Tuesday’s home opener against the Northern Illinois Huskies.  As always, keep an eye on @illinoisbaseball on Twitter for any possible schedule changes due to weather.  February may have been nice but March may have some surprises in store for us. 

Fighting Illini Baseball recently came out with its 2017 Promotional calendar.  Draw a red circle around May 5 because that is when the ninth Bleacher Bum BBQ will take place. There will be free BBQ for the first 500 fans! 

Here is the list of the big promos this year:

Opening Day (March 14)
St. Patrick’s Day (March 17)
Big Ten Opening Weekend (March 24-26)
Super Hero Night (March 31)
Kid’s Club Day / April Fools Day (April 1)
Bark in the Park (April 2)
Illinois Agriculture Night (April 14)
Bunny at the Ballpark (April 15-16)
Bleacher Bum Barbeque (May 5)
Hail to the Orange Day (May 6)
Honor and Serve Day (May 7)
Spring Cleaning Day (May 19)
I FUND Day / Senior Day (May 20)

Bring us back a win, guys!

Go Illini!!    


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Illinois baseball sees lots of offense against FAU, Weber gets first career win

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Doran Turchin: two dingers on Friday night

Last weekend in Boca Raton, Illinois baseball really showed what its offense could do but with the wind blowing out combined with an inexperienced pitching staff, the good guys came away with just one Saturday win against the Florida Atlantic Owls. 

Illinois hit a total of ten homeruns and scored a total of 25 runs on Friday and Saturday.  Unfortunately, Friday’s game ended in a heartbreaking 11-10 loss.  Ty Weber gave the Illini a good performance for his first career win, 14-4.  Sunday effort was a mirror image of Saturday’s game when Illinois lost to the Owls, 16-2.

Jack Yalowitz led Illinois with a .500 (6 for 12) batting average for the weekend. 

Here’s a quick recap of the weekend.

 

Game #8 / March 3, 2017    
fau vs

11

  10

       

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For the second Friday in a row, Illinois was embroiled in a one-run slugfest.  This time, they didn’t quite pull it out losing 11-10. 

Trent Hammond (above) came out of his 2017 ohfer streak in a big way.  He drove home a run with a base hit in the second inning.  In the 4th, he hit a two-run homerun.  That was one of four homeruns by the Illini.  Doran Turchin hit two solo shots while Pat McInerney contributed a 3rd inning solo shot.  For the game, Mac was 3 for 5 with 3 rbis and two runs and a double in addition to his dinger. 

Starter Luke Shilling is getting his feet wet.  In three innings, he allowed 7 runs on five hits and six walks. 

Fighting Illini Game Wrapup

Box

 

Game #9 / March 4, 2017    
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14

  4

Illinois got some payback on Saturday though.  The wind at FAU Stadium must have still been blowing out as the good guys hit a total of six homeruns to dominate the Owls 14-4.  Jack Yalowitz added to his hit total going 4 for 5 with two dingers while David Craan added two more homers and drove in four runs.  Bren Spllane and Casey Dodge each hit their first homer of the year (both hit a double as well). 

Speaking of firsts, Ty Weber put in a good performance and recorded his first career win.  He allowed just one run in six innings striking out four. 

Fighting Illini Game Wrapup

http://www.fightingillini.com/boxscore.aspx?path=baseball&id=12573Box

 

Game #10 / March 5, 2017    
fau vs

16

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On Sunday, the winds may have blowing but the Illini couldn’t take advantage.  The Owls simply outhit the Illini.  Outside of a couple doubles by Tyler Engel and Ryan Haff, the Illinois offense just lost whatever they had the past two days.  The Owls outhit Illinois 18 to 8 and as a result won 16-2. 

Seven Illinois pitchers appeared in Sunday’s game against Florida Atlantic and only Zak Devermann escaped relatively unscathed (1 IP, 1 H, 0 ER). 

Fighting Illini Game Wrapup

Box

 

Random Ramblings

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Well, the Illini scored 27 runs in three games this past weekend.  Going on previous weekends, this reinforces the thought that offense is definitely there for our guys.  A total of 10 homerun were hit in the first two game by our guys.  The biggest threat?  It’s still Jack Yalowitz who hit .500 (6 for 12) and raises hit overall batting average to .425.  Big Pat McInerney (above) is posting some big numbers too.  He’s batting .366 and leads the Illini with 3 homers and 13 ribbies. 

At the beginning of the season, we were told that this is a young team. Bear that in mind, when you glance at the 8.09 team ERA.  I know, it’s not easy.  I truly believe that we have good arms in our pitching staff.  We may not see the results for a while but we will see them. 

On a more positive note, take a look at the NCAA baseball stat page.  You’ll find that the Illini are now leading the nation in one key stat.  They are #1 in the nation in defensive double plays.  And while are tied with Duke and Virginia Tech with 17, it’s only taken Illinois ten games to reach that mark.  The key players involved?  You can look towards 2B Michael Massey (13) and SS Ben Troike (11) who are the ones turning the double dipper.

I’m getting ahead of myself but next weekend’s series against Coastal Carolina was going to be the big test for the Illini.  Don’t get me wrong, it looks like Illinois already has plenty to deal with already.  That said, last year’s national champion have gotten off to a less than stellar start.  The Chants are ranked #21 and already have five losses at 9-5.  Either way, it would be a feather in Illinois’ cap if they could muster a series win.  

Which bring me to…

Next up

Illinois will be going south again but not as much as we’re used to.  They’re going to Conway, South Carolina to face the Chanticleers of Coastal Carolina for a three-game series.  Friday’s game begins at 3pm. 

And the good news is… This will be the LAST series before Illinois’ first home game!!

Go Illini!


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Illini Baseball go a hunting for Owls in Boca Raton this weekend

ryan thompson

Ryan Thompson gets a shot against the Owls on Sunday

With their 2-5 record, Illinois is traveling south again. This weekend, they are heading to Florida visiting Boca Raton where the Florida Atlantic Owls (4-3-1) will play host for three games. 

Illinois hopes to improve on their record.  Their starting lineup have been hitting well and the defense has shown some brilliance.  I’m sure Coach Hartleb is looking for some improvement from the pitching that has a 6.82 ERA. 

Fighting Illini weekend preview

Pitcher probables

  • Friday  Luke Shilling: 1-0, 5.40 ERA
  • Saturday  Ty Weber: 0-0, 5.19 ERA
  • Sunday  Ryan Thompson: 0-0, 8.31 ERA 

This season, there’s been a change in the pitching each weekend and this time there’s no exception.  Most notably, freshman Ryan Thompson will get a chance on Sunday to show his stuff.  Thompson has two appearances but it will be his first college career start. 

In addition, Luke Shilling will continue to be the Friday starter.  Despite a bit of setback last weekend ( Luke gave up four runs and a total of seven walks in four innings), he seems to have that Friday job until some takes it from him.  Ty Weber has so much potential that I’m thinking Coach Hartleb is giving him a long leash. 

Throw hard, guys!

A quick summary of the weekend…

 

FAU Baseball Stadium
 
Boca Raton, Florida

Fri. March 3

5:30 pm CT

Sat. March 4

3:00 pm CT

Sun. March 5

11:00 am CT

 

vs

Florida Atlantic Owls

fau

 

W-L: 4-3-1

 

 My take on the Owls:  This won’t be FAU’s first foray against a Big Ten team.  They have taken on Indiana University just last weekend.  The Hoosiers went 1-1-1 against them  Yes, because of a travel curfew, the Owls and Hoosiers played to a 6-6 tie. 

FAU did get off to a 3-0 start and they have players like Tyler Frank 21- for 40, 3 HR) and Stephen Kerr (12 for 29, 2 HR) to thank for that. 

Opponents have been able to tap into Owls starting pitching so perhaps the Illinois hitters can do the same. 

 

Random Ramblings

This will be the first weekend that the Illini will be facing the same opponent for the entire series.  Tournaments definitely have a certain appeal but I think from a competitive standpoint, the boys are looking forward to playing a good old fashioned three game series against one team.  There’s more of a rivalry aspect throughout the weekend. 

While the Illini are 2-5 going in the weekend, they still rank in the nation in one statistic.  They are tied for fifth in the nation in double plays per game as well as fourth overall with eleven.  You can credit freshmen Ben Troike and Michael Massey who helped contribute to five double plays in Illinois’ game last Friday. 

IMG_9053

Looking at the stats very quick, much has been made of the performances of Pat McInerney, Ben Troike, and David Craan. However, it’s none other than Jack Yalowitz (above) who is now quietly leading the Illini in hits (11), batting average (.393) and runs scored (9). 

Yalowitz joins five other Illinois starters who are hitting .300 or better. 

Go Illini!!    


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Illinois Baseball win one at Kleberg Bank College Classic

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Craan makes the All-Tournament team

Last weekend, Illinois Baseball participated in the Kleberg Bank College Classic hosted by Texas A&M-Corpus Christi.  The Illini (2-5) came away with just one Friday win but with a couple more runs and maybe some momentum in the right time, it could have easily been 3-0 Illinois. 

Pat McInerney had a phenomenal weekend.  So much so that I was surprised that he didn’t take Big Ten Player of the Week honors.  Over the three games. he went 6 for 13 with nine rbis.  His homerun against Missouri is his second of the year.  I await further great things from Pat this season. 

The tourney last weekend saw an upsurge in offense from some new guys too.  Freshmen Michael Massey, Ben Troike, and sophomore David Craan all really came through with the bat. 

Here’s a quick recap of the weekend. 

 

Game #4 / February 24, 2017    
vs islanders

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  14

        

There is something fascinating about a one-run slugfest.  That’s exactly what we got on Friday.  Though the Illini got off to a 6-1 lead early, the islanders caught up soon after and it was a a close game till the end. 

Pat McInerney and Ben Troike were among the big boppers on Friday.  McInerney drove in five runs with a double and a single.  Troike collected four hits driving home three runs while scoring three more.  David Craan who went 3 for 4, crossed the plate four times. 

The Illini defense did their job.  While A&M-Corpus Christi scored 14 runs, they could have scored more.  Illinois tied a record with five defensive double plays.  Here’s a montage put together by Illini Baseball. 

 

Fighting Illini Game Wrapup

Box

 

Game #5 / February 25, 2017    
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11

  5

Saturday’s loss to ranked Houston is a little misleading if you’re going by the final score.  The Illini really held on.  In fact, the Illini had a 5-0 lead at the third inning.  Going into the bottom of the eighth inning, Houston only had a 7-5 edge and Illinois was very much in the game. 

Mcinerney and Craan were again the big players of the game.  McInerney banged out three hits and Craan drove in two runs on two hits. 

Fighting Illini Game Wrapup

Box

 

Game #6 / February 26, 2017    
mizzou vs

7

  6

On Sunday, Illinois’ scoring against rival Missouri can be easily summarized.  In the first inning, freshman Michael Massey hit a three-run homerun.  In the second, Pat McInerney hit another.  Unfortunately, that was all the scoring Illinois would do while Mizzou tallied a few more. 

Ben Troike rapped three hits while Bren Spillane collected two safeties. 

 

Fighting Illini Game Wrapup

Box

 

Random Ramblings

On Sunday, the All-Tournament team was announced.  Here are the Illini that were awarded. 

  • David Craan (6 for 10)
  • Pat McInerney (6 for 13, 9 rbis)
  • Ben Troike (8 for 14)

Congrats to these players for making their Orange and Blue presence known at the Kleberg Bank College Classic!

Screenshot_20170226-151057During the early part of season, I really miss not seeing the actual games.  Time constraints just don’t allow for me to travel to the warmer regions and I count the days till the boys return to Illinois Field. 

This past weekend, I was out of town myself so the best way to follow the games was online on my mobile phone. 

It’s not the same as being there but all things considered, most of the online live stats apps (this one is provided by Sidearm Stats) do a fair job of providing the right info.  I also like to follow Illinois Baseball’s Twitter account for a more human angle with some interaction. 

The link for live stats is provided under each game under the schedule.  

Next up

Illinois will be traveling to Boca Raton next weekend to face Florida Atlantic for three games.  Game time for Friday is 5:30pm. 

 

Go Illini!


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Illini baseball returns to Texas to gain some ground

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Pat McInerney wants to add another homer or two

After a 1-3 opening weekend at the Lamar Cardinal Classic, Illinois baseball will travel back to Texas this weekend.  This time they are visiting Corpus Christi and will hosted by the Texas A&M-Corpus Christi islanders.  The islanders are hosting a tournament at Whataburger Field involving Missouri and Houston. 

Illinois hopes to break their three-game losing streak with the hurler who won their opening day game.  That man is Luke Shilling (1-0, 1.80 ERA) who has already surpassed his win count from all of last year.  Freshman Michael Massey will also look to extend his four-game hitting streak.  Currently, Jack Yalowitz leads all starters in hits and total bases.  Pat McInerney has the sole homerun for the Illini. 

Pitcher probables

  • Friday  Luke Shilling: 1-0, 1.80 ERA
  • Saturday  Quinten Sefcik: 0-1, 5.06 ERA
  • Sunday  Ty Weber: 0-0, 0.00 ERA 

In addition to Shilling, Illinois will be going to Quinten Sefcik on Saturday and Ty Weber on Sunday.  It looks Sefcik drew the short straw and will be facing the ranked Houston Cougars on Saturday.  While freshman prospect Weber gave up five walks, he was almost unhittable against Lamar last weekend in in short start allowing just two hits in 4 2/3 innings. 

A quick summary of the weekend…

 

Whataburger Field
 
Corpus Christi, Texas

Fri. Feb. 24

6:00 pm CT

 

vs

Texas A&M-Corpus Christi Islanders

islanders

 

W-L: 1-2

Sat. Feb. 25

2:00 pm CT

vs

Houston Cougars

interlocking-uh

 

W-L: 3-1

Sat. Feb. 26

11:00 am CT

vs

Missouri Tigers

mizzou

 

W-L: 3-1

 

 My take on this weekend:  There is no doubt that this will be a big test of Illinois. Take a look at this week’s NCBWA polls.  One of Illinois’ opponents, Houston, is ranked.  Another opponent, Missouri, is making a good case for it if they keep up their offense.  The combined record of all three teams is a daunting 7-3.. 

Not to be confused with the #15 Aggies, the Islanders of Texas A&M-Corpus Christi are not ranked.  Last weekend, they went 1-2 against our neighbor, the Bradley Braves.  They did manage to scored in double digits in their win on opening day though. 

#29 Houston’s offense is certainly overwhelming but it was their pitching that got the job done in the first weekend.  They allowed just four earned runs in their first three games.  Half of their runs allowed were unearned so capitalize on that defense.  The good news?  They just lost their last game to crosstown Houston Baptist, an unranked team. 

It looks like Illinois is scheduled to play rival Mizzou twice this season.  The Tigers’ offense went nuts last weekend against Eastern Michigan after losing the opener.  In the very next game, they got their revenge by scoring 27 runs.  So the potential for big offense is there. 

 

Random Ramblings

In case you’re wondering, the weather in Corpus Christi looks very nice this weekend in comparison to the game-delaying storms the Illini experienced last weekend in Beaumont.  There should be plenty of sunshine and “cooler” which in Texas means highs in the 70s, I’m gathering.  There may be a slight chance of a shower on Sunday but it doesn’t look game-threatening.  

Giving them their due, here are the Big Ten players of the week which was awarded on Monday. 

Player: Dan Durkin, Michigan State

Pitcher:  Tanner Andrews, Purdue

Freshman: Jake Matheny, Indiana

Player of the Week Durkin is from Tinley Park, Illinois, by the way. 

IMG_4224-001

If you have been wondering what is going on with starter Doug Hayes, you aren’t the only one.  I was wondering the same thing.   Doug was the obvious Friday starter going into this season but he didn’t touch the rubber all weekend.  It looks like an injury is keeping him from pitching so we may not see him on the mound for a while.  It’s a tough break for Doug and will definitely impact the overall pitching of Illinois. 

Get well, Doug!!

Looking at the bigger picture, defending national champion Coastal Carolina (1-3) has already lost three games in this young season.  They are still ranked at #19 as of this week.  Illinois is scheduled to face the Chants for three games in Conway, South Carolina in three weeks before they head back to Champaign. 

Go Illini!!    


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Illini Baseball manage one win on Opening weekend at Lamar Cardinal Classic

2016-9-2 Illinois practice-8980-001

First career win for Shilling

Battling the weather in Beaumont, Texas, the Illini came away with an opening day win at the Lamar Cardinal Classic this weekend.  After that, it was a matter of bad timing.  When they scored nine, their opponent scored 15.  When they held their opponent to just two two runs, offense just couldn’t come through. 

Coach Hartleb saw the silver lining though. He did his best, at least. 

"It’s early but there’s obviously some disappointment in my mind.  But I like our players, I like our abilities. I wish we had a game tomorrow but we’ll have to go back and work on some stuff before next weekend."

He’ll have a few days before returning back to Texas again.  Here’s a quick recap of the weekend. 

 

Game #1 / February 17, 2016    
vs MilwPanther

10

  2

     

Illinois got off to a good season start against Milwaukee once they started playing.  The game was delayed over five hours due to the heavy rains in Texas on Friday.  Once the game was going, it was all Illini though. 

It was Luke Shilling on the mound and honestly, he performed like I thought he would.  He allowed just three hits and one run in five innings.  He struck out six Panther batters as well as walking six others.  Matt James and Jackson Douglas pitched the balance of the game allowing just one more run. 

There is a lot to be said for the offense of Game 1. Michael Massey and Jack Yalowitz both collected three hits for the day.  In the 3rd inning, Bren Spillane hit a bases-loaded triple.  By the end of the third inning, it was already 9-0 Illinois.

Fighting Illini Game Wrapup

Box

 

Game #2 / February 18, 2017    
MilwPanther vs

4

  2

On Saturday, the Illini weren’t able to execute.  Illinois actually out-hit Milwaukee 8 to 6.  One of those hits was a solo homer by Pat McInerney, the first homerun by an Illini.  In addition, DH Casey Dodge hit safely three times. 

Quinten Sefcik allowed five hits and three earned runs in 5 1/3 innings for the loss.  Relievers Zack Jones and Cyrillo Watson struck out a combined total of six opponents in just 2 2/3 innings. 

Fighting Illini Game Wrapup

Box

 

Game #3 / February 18, 2017    
lamarlogo vs

15

  9

In Saturday’s second game against Lamar, things got a little wild and wooly.  Lamar looked liek they were going to run away with it getting off to a 13-3 start by the fifth inning.  Matters weren’t helped in the fourth inning when three Lamar runs scored when two walks drove in runs and one more hit-by-pitch drove in another with the bases loaded. 

But the Illini did make the game interesting.  They put together two runs in the sixth capped by Jalin McMillan’s rbi double.  In the eighth, Matt James rapped a bases-loaded triple and then scored himself on another triple by Jack Yalowitz. 

It was too little too late though as Illinois fell 15-9. 

Fighting Illini Game Wrapup

Box

 

Game #4 / February 19, 2017    
lamarlogo vs

2

  1

The final game against Lamar took a different turn than Saturday’s slugfest.  It was a old fashioned pitchers’ duel.  It was goose eggs for both teams for the first seven innings.  Freshman Ty Weber lasted 4 2/3 innings for the Illini and only gave up two hits. He struck out three and walked five. 

Dan Rowbottom put Illinois on top first with a rbi single scoring Yalowitz.  The Cardinals followed up with a tying run in the bottom of the inning.  The game went into extras and in the bottom of the 10th, the winning Cardinal run scored on a wild pitch. 

Fighting Illini Game Wrapup

Box

Random Ramblings

IMG_9053

Jack Yalowitz is off to a good start this season.  He had eight hits and four rbis over the weekend.  Freshman Michael Massey from Brother Rice, hit in every game and has five hits total.

And just a reminder, total stats for the Illinois baseball team are here.  You can also access each individual player’s game stats from their bio page too. 

Next up

The Illini will travel to Texas again next weekend.  They will be head to Corpus Christi for a three-way tournament with Texas A&M, Missouri, and Houston. 

I’m hoping the weather clears up by then. 

Go Illini!


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