Doug Hayes was near perfect last week with a one-hitter against Penn State
Coming off last weekend’s 2-1 Big Ten series win against Penn State, Illinois (10-12, 2-1 Big Ten) head west to Lincoln to face the Cornhuskers of Nebraska (17-7, 3-0 Big Ten) who are on an eight game winning streak.
The Illini will be playing a three-game series in Lincoln on Friday, Saturday and Sunday against the Huskers who are currently tied with Michigan State for first place (check out current Big Ten baseball standings).
Coach Hartleb is sticking with the same pitching assignments as last week. All three pitched extremely well. I said this last week but Cole Bellair is still looking for his first win. This week, his ERA is up to 0.65. Meanwhile, Cody Sedlock is looking for his fifth win.
- Friday Cody Sedlock: 4-1, 3.26 ERA
- Saturday Doug Hayes 3-2, 3.16 ERA
- Sunday Cole Bellair: 0-0, 0.65 ERA
Fri. April 1
6:35 pm CT
Sat. April 2
2:05 pm CT
Sun. April 3
1:05 pm CT
W-L: 17-7, 3-0 Big Ten
My take on the Huskers:
The Huskers are having a grand year. Off to a 17-7 start, they even swept Purdue in their first Big Ten series last weekend. In fact, they haven’t lost since March 18th, a total of eight games.
You’ll find plenty of power wearing Big Red. The Huskers have out-homered their opponents 28 to 12. Led by Scott Schreiber and Jake Placzek (6 each), there are five Nebraska hitters with four or more homers this season.
One final note: the Illini has gone 28-3 in road games in the past two seasons. Of those three losses, two were against Nebraska.
Quick take: Bring your A game, starters!
Anthony Drago leads the Illini in HR, rbi, and doubles and hits
Wow, that was a tough loss against Indiana State on Tuesday. Despite an 8th inning rally to tie the game, Illinois lost the game on a controversial dropped third strike that scored the winning run with two outs in the bottom of the ninth.
Anthony Drago hit his team-leading fourth homerun in the loss. He also leads the team with 15 rbis.
I think we’re spoiled by the 2015 season but Illinois has historically had trouble with the midweek games. This past Tuesday is a good example.
On a happier note, noted Illinois baseball coach Augie Garrido has been inducted into the National College Baseball Hall of Fame. Garrido entered 2016 with 1,950 career wins, most by any college baseball coach. He also took 15 teams to the College World Series.
Garrido coached at the University of Illinois from 1988-1990. He won 42 games in 1989 and 43 in 1990 establishing a team record for Big Ten wins with 19.
Augie Garrido coached well before I started following Illini baseball but I know a few fans that still remember his era.
For those who can’t make the exciting drive across I-80 to Lincoln, Mr. Dave Loane should be able to give you what you need. He’ll be broadcasting the games on AM-1400 WDWS airwaves. Live video is available (Friday and Saturday / Sunday) and you can always follow live stats via the web, as well.