Tyler Jay leads the way as nine Illini chosen in MLB Draft

Even after the 2015 Illinois baseball season is over, the team is breaking records.  Now that the MLB Draft is over, a total of nine Illini players have been chosen.  This breaks the school’s record of six from 1985.  Not only that, Illinois is top drafted team in the Big Ten and has the third highest total in the nation. 

Of course, the big news is the Minnesota Twins’ early pick of Tyler Jay on Monday night after his start in the Super Regional.  Jay was chosen sixth overall by the Twins.  Historically, he is the highest drafted Illini in the MLB draft and only the second Illini to be drafted in the first round (John Ericks was drafted 22nd overall in 1988).

Tuesday, two more early Illini draft picks.  starter Kevin Duchene was chosen by the Oakland A’s and slugger David Kerian got picked by the Washington Nationals.

By the end of today, a total of nine Illini were chosen.  Only Oklahoma (11) and UC-Santa Barbara (10) had more players drafted.   

 

Meet the the Illini Draft Class of 2015!

 

Tyler Jay

Left-handed Pitcher – Junior
First round – 6th pick overall
Minnesota Twins

 

 

Kevin Duchene

Left-handed Pitcher – Junior
Fifth round – 158th pick overall
Oakland Athletics

 

David Kerian

Firstbaseman – Senior
Ninth round – 284th pick overall
Washington Nationals

 

 

Jason Goldstein

Catcher – Junior
Seventeenth round – 522nd pick overall
Los Angeles Dodgers

 

 

Adam Walton

Shortstop – Redshirt Sophomore
Twentieth round – 613th pick overall
Baltimore Orioles

 

 

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Nick Blackburn

Right-handed Pitcher – Junior
Twenty-second round – 659th pick overall
New York Mets

 

 

Rob McDonnell

Left-handed Pitcher – Redshirt Senior
Twenty-fifth round – 762nd pick overall
Los Angeles Dodgers

 

 

Drasen Johnson

Right-handed Pitcher – Redshirt Senior
Twenty-sixth round – 767th pick overall
Colorado Rockies

 

Ryan Nagle

Outfielder – Junior
Twenty-seventh round – 817th pick overall
Pittsburgh Pirates

You can read Fighting Illini’s report on the draft here.  In the next few weeks, negotiations will be had and I’m sure some decisions will need to be made. 

Congratulations and good luck to all nine players! 


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Vanderbilt derails Illinois’ magical season in Super Regional

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Kevin Duchene salutes the fans after today’s loss

In today’s Super Regional elimination game against Vanderbilt at Illinois Field, Illinois (50-10-1) could not take advantage of scoring opportunities and lost a heartbreaker to the Commodores 4-2.  With the loss, Illinois’ magical record-breaking season is over.  

On the same day that he was eventually drafted #6 overall by the Minnesota Twins, Tyler Jay made his second start of the season.  He struck out six in six and a third innings but eventually got the loss.  Homeruns by Vanderbilt’s Zander Wiel and Dansby Swanson who went #1 in the MLB Draft today, did the Illini in. 

 

Game #61 / June 8, 2015    
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Six strikeouts but a tough loss for Tyler Jay

Despite the loss, Tyler Jay (5-2) pitched a solid game so I think it’s fair to say that Coach Hartleb’s gamble worked.  Jay spread out 10 hits and Vandy scored four runs but he also struck out six batters and walked none.  In comparison to Saturday’s 13-run game, four runs was something our offense can work with.

When Jay ran out of gas, Illini reliever Nick Blackburn came in and really shut down the Commodore offense.  He got the Illini out of a jam in the seventh and pitched a scoreless eighth inning. 

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Pat McInerney drives in a run in the 3rd inning

Ryan Nagle continued his hitting spree with three hits for the day.  For the two games, he had five hits total. Pat McInerney had two hits including an rbi single in the 3rd which drove home Casey Fletcher. 

In essence, the game just got away from the Illini.  It was back and forth for a while with Illinois having a slight edge until the offense stopped up.  They had a great opportunity in the key eighth inning when they loaded up the bases with just one out.  Unfortunately, they couldn’t capitalize. 

 

 

Random Ramblings

Photos of Game two of the Super Regional are here at the IBR photo gallery.  Illini fans, beware there are a few photos of Vandy players celebrating towards the end.  Fair warning. 

It shouldn’t be any surprise that Tyler Jay was drafted today.  He was picked up #6 overall by the Minnesota Twins.  He already has a little practice pitching from their mound.  The Illini played at Target Field during the Big Ten Tournament this year. 

MLB pitcher and Vanderbilt alum David Price was at the game today.  He had a few words to say about the pick of Jay…

Yeah, good luck with that, David!  Congratulations to Tyler Jay!!

It’s getting late but I would like to thank the 2015 Illinois Baseball players, coaches, staff and parents for a fantastic season I will never, ever forget. 

Thanks, Illini!!


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Game 2 of Super Regional postponed till Monday

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Illini players play the waiting game in the bullpen area

The fans showed up and the players warmed up for Sunday’s Super Regional game between Illinois and Vanderbilt.  As the 5:05pm starting time inched closer and the normal pre-game announcements and rituals we usually go through didn’t happen, I wondered if something was up.  Sure enough, we heard through the PA that the game was being delayed for 15 minutes… then for a half hour.  Then as many fans were heading for the gates, the ultimate announcement came that Sunday’s game was postponed. 

As a result, Game Two of the Illinois-Vanderbilt Super Regional has been postponed till Monday.  The time is yet to be announced 3pm CT.  When Illinois wins and a third game is necessary, it will be played on Tuesday. 

Eventually, a few folks have engaged Illini Senior Associate AD Mike Waddell in a little mini-drama on Twitter regarding the postponement that quite honestly, isn’t really worth reading.  The important thing is that both teams agreed to the postponement and more importantly, everyone is safe.  I’ve been on campus since I left Illinois Field and the storm here has been FIERCE.  By now, the storm has subsided a bit but it is still raining hard. 

Tomorrow’s forecast looks a little sunnier.  There should be rain in the morning but that should clear up by the afternoon. 

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Enough of nasty things like weather and postponements and twitter dramas… on to more important things like Illinois baseball’s Tyler Jay.  The Champaign Room wonders if he might get drafted while he is on the mound for the Illini.  Depending on when the game time is, it is certainly a possibility.  Check out TCR’s draft wrap up for Jay.  Vanderbilt has three top prospects in Dansby Swanson, Carson Fulmer and Walker Buehler who are all projected to go high in MLB’s draft as well.   

Finally, I spoke to Will Krug’s mother on his recent hitting surge in the past few weeks.  She told me that “he’s having too much fun” and that he “doesn’t want the season to end”.  I guess there’s no better incentive to play well!

Keep an eye on @IllinoisBaseball for Monday’s game time. 


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Backs against the wall, Hartleb pulls out his ace for Super Regional

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Tyler Jay gets his chance at a start vs. Vandy

With their backs against the wall, Illinois baseball will attempt to to tie their series with Vanderbilt in the NCAA Super Regional.  They were stunned in Saturday night’s opener getting walloped 13-0 by the Commodores. 

But Coach Hartleb has an aces up his sleeve.  Tonight’s game at 5pm (note the time due to the weather) will feature Illinois reliever Tyler Jay’s second start of the year.  Jay has 28 relief appearances and one start with 0.60 ERA.  His one start was back in February. 

With a win, Illinois will face Vanderbilt again on Monday.  With a loss, their 2015 season is over.

Game #61 / June 7, 2015    
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A rare off night for Duchene in his last Illinois Field start

A 13-0 game doesn’t leave a lot of room for highlights even for a homer fan like myself.  Saturday’s game just hurt to watch.  Kevin Duchene who has been on his game all year, just didn’t have it against Vanderbilt.  Now granted, he does have a tendency to give up a run in the first inning or so then shut down the offense.  That wasn’t the case on Saturday.  He gave up three runs in the first complete with a pitcher’s mound visit by Coach Drew Dickinson.  After giving up seven runs and four earned, Duchene was taken out in the fifth.  By far his earliest exit in this great season of his.

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Two hits for Ryan Nagle on Saturday

At the same time, the Illini offense was being shut down by premiere starter Carson Fulmer of Vanderbilt.  He kept the good guys down to just four hits, all singles.    Ryan Nagle had two of those hits.  Fulmer with his twitchy gestures on the mound and nasty delivery, walked five, struck out five but most importantly, won the game for Vanderbilt and improved his record to 13-2. 

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Two pitching efforts worth mentioning:  Cody Sedlock managed to pitch the only 1-2-3 inning of the night in the 6th.  Andrew Mamlic (above) also pitched a scoreless inning.   After giving up a leadoff hit in the eighth inning, he retired the Commodores.

 

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Insult to injury: Saturday’s game wasn’t without a little controversy.  With Vandy up 5-0,  their runner scored due to obstruction according to the umpire.  This occurred during a pickle between catcher Jason Goldstein and Adam Walton.  The tag was made but the man in blue called the runner safe due to obstruction.  This got Coach Hartleb out of the dugout and the Illini fans in an uproar. 

 

 

Random Ramblings

More photos are here at the IBR photo gallery.

As a friend of mine said, any way you look at Saturday’s 13-0 game, we’re still just down one game to none.  Now that Coach Hartleb has pulled out his ace in his sleeve in Tyler Jay, it could be anyone’s game.  Assuming we win tonight, we have a workhorse starter in Drasen Johnson for Monday.  That leaves John Kravetz or Nick Blackburn available for relief work today should we need it. 

I honestly have to hand it to the Vandy fans.  They are hard core supporters of their team.  A lot of them have come a long way to support their players.  They have creative chants and cheers something I always like to see no matter the team or sport. 

They also have to listen to this guy at every game.

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Known as the “whistle guy”, the rumor is that he is famous for his 3 high-pitched whistles… which he does all game.  I admire his dedication but if you sit next to him, I recommend earplugs. 

Finally, I’ll leave you with this.

This gives Sunday’s game a whole different perspective. 

Let’s go get ‘em, Illini!!


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Bring on the Commodores! Illinois hosts Vanderbilt in NCAA Super Regional

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With a 3-0 Regional Championship win under their belt, the #6 national seed Fighting Illini (50-8-1) welcome the Vanderbilt Commodores (45-19) to Illinois Field for the NCAA Super Regional this weekend.  Beginning Saturday night at 7pm CT, the two will play a best of three series to determine who will go on to the College World Series and who will just go home. 

While both teams are quite comparable, they come from very different perspectives.  The Commodores are the reigning champions.  The Illini are the upstart newcomers who have never reached the Super Regionals yet own the highest winning percentage in the country.  Both teams share high profile players and of course, the desire to advance to the Elite Eight who play in the College World Series at Omaha. 

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Follow along this weekend at Tournament Central.  The Fighting Illini have posted their Super Regional preview.  Of interest, pitchers Kevin Duchene of Illinois and Carson Fulmer of Vanderbilt have been announced for Saturday’s game but the rest are listed as TBA.  Either both coaches are being coy or just keeping their strategies to themselves.  Personally, I don’t think Coach Hartleb would deviate from what has been working for him all year but he probably wants to keep everybody guessing. 

 

Illinois Field
 
Champaign, Illinois

Sat. June 6

7:00 pm CT

Sun. June 7

8:00 pm CT

Mon. June 8

(if necessary)

TBA

vs

Vanderbilt Commodores

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W-L: 45-19 SEC 20-10

My take on Vanderbilt: 

Vanderbilt got this far via the Nashville Regional where they swept the field.  That included a 6-4 win over the Big Ten Indiana Hoosiers. 

Take a look at any mock draft out there (like Baseball America’s, for example).  Along with Illinois reliever Tyler Jay, you will most likely find at least three Vanderbilt players in the top 20.  Among them is shortstop Dansby Swanson who is projected to go in the top five picks.  Swanson is batting .348 with 14 homers and 61 rbis. 

Right behind him are two right handers, Carson Fulmer and Walker Buehler who are both ready for this weekend and for draft day on Monday.  Fulmer in particular, has been effective for the Commodores.  He has a 12-2 record with a 1.92 ERA.  He also brings heat with 147 strikeouts in 107 2/3 innings. 

And since excellence isn’t bred in a vacuum, it doesn’t get a whole lot worse after that.  Philip Pfeifer has struck out 101 in 77+ innings.  The Commodores have six players hitting .300 and three with 13 or more homers. 

In short, reigning champion Vandy is not going to be a walk in the park.  At the same time, their Coach is most likely telling the players the same about Illinois. 

 

Random Ramblings

As always, there are a couple more Fighting Illini awards to announce…

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Tyler Jay was named the District V Player of the Year by the NCWBA.  He was one of ten honored on Friday from each district.  District V encompasses Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin. 

Senior Reid Roper was named as a Capital One second team Academic All-American.  The award emphasizes academic as well as athletic excellence.  Roper is only the sixth Illini to receive the award and the first since Jason Anderson in 2000. 

 

Notes about this weekend

For those wishing to go to the games at Illinois Field, I hope you were able to procure tickets early on Tuesday.  They were sold out within a few hours.  Unless you happen to be lucky to win some, you may be listening to Dave Loane on the radio.  Not that’s a bad thing.  

If you’re looking for a good unbiased comparison between the Illini and the Commodores, D1Baseball.com has one

Finally, usually by this time Illinois players are done with their season and thinking about their summer assignments.  Those who are draft eligible are looking towards the MLB First-Year Player Draft.  Not this year.  While the draft is happening and I’m sure certain players are definitely keeping an eye on it, they have business to finish at the Super Regional. 

This year’s MLB Draft will commence on Monday, June 8th potentially while Illinois is still playing in the Super Regional.  MLB’s Draft Central is the best place to track the draft.  This year may have a bumper crop of Illinois draftees and most certainly have the highest drafted pick in Tyler Jay. 

See you at the ballpark!!


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Between Regionals, Illini baseball doesn’t get much better than this!

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Success breeds success, they say.  On the heels of their 3-0 Champaign Regional Championship, Illinois baseball can claim three All-Tournament honorees. 

Drasen Johnson’s complete game shutout was a no-brainer.  I knew David Kerian and Will Krug both had a great weekend but did you realize the impact of the 7-8-9 hitters of the Illini?  That also includes #9 hitter Ryne Roper. 

Check the stats.  For the weekend, Krug went 6 for 10, Kerian went 5 for 8 with 2 HR and Roper went 4 for 11.  Together they drove home 12 runs in the three games at the Champaign Regional. 

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As long as we’re on the topic of awards, dominant Illini reliever Tyler Jay is one step closer to the NCWBA Stopper of the Year Award.  The list is down to just five now.  The Big Ten Player of the Year, Jay is second in the country in ERA (0.60) and leads in WHIP (0.61).  Ten days from now, the winner will be announced. 

 

Everything’s super now!

On to the Super Regional now.  The once overwhelming 64-team NCAA bracket is suddenly down to just sixteen teams now.  The chaff has been separated from the wheat and we’re on to some serious baseball now. 

Here is the current NCAA Division I bracket.

This weekend, sixteen teams will face off in eight separate Super Regionals in a best of three series and those winners will earn the right to move on to the College World Series in Omaha which starts on June 13th. 

As for Illinois, they will take on the Vanderbilt Commodores here at Illinois Field.  Vandy is the reigning national champion having taken it all in 2014.  They have a few of their players back for the 2015 campaign and are a team to be reckoned with.  The good news (aside from boasting about our own greatness) is that Illinois is playing on their home turf in front of mostly friendly crowds. 

If you were thinking of attending this weekend’s Super Regional, the word right now is that all games are sold out.  As always, keep an eye on @IllinoisBaseball in case more tickets become available at a later date.

It’s worth noting that one other Big Ten team made it to the Super Regionals.  The Terps will be taking on the Virginia Cavaliers in Charlottesville.  Both were #3 seeds in their respective Regionals so it will be interesting to see how that shakes out. 

Also, former Illini coach Eric Snider and his tough Louisville Cardinals are hosting Cal State-Fullerton.  Both were top seeds.  Will Coach Snider get to meet up with his former team?  Stay tuned!!

  3 days till #SuperRegional


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Illinois advance to Super Regional with 8-4 win over Wright State

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Will Krug hit an rbi double in the fifth inning

In a wild comeback game with just a little bit of controversy, the Illini have advanced to their first Super Regional!  Behind the strong bats of Will Krug, David Kerian and Ryne Roper and lights-out pitching of Tyler Jay, Illinois defeated the Wright State Raiders 8-4.  With the win, they clinch the NCAA Champaign Regional Championship and advance to the Super Regional.

Illinois went a clean 3-0 in the Champaign Regional defeating each tournament team once.  They will face Vanderbilt in the Super Regional hosted here in Champaign next weekend.  The win is Illinois’ 50th which is the most in the school’s history breaking the record set in 1982.

Game #59 / June 1, 2015
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David Kerian gets congrats from the Illini batboy after his two-run homer

Baseball is funny sometimes,  With a 4-4 tie, Wright State walked Big Ten Player of the Year David Kerian in the sixth inning to get to Will Krug.  Gutsy move.  Krug has already had a fantastic Champaign Regional weekend and on top of that, he doubled in a run in the fifth inning.  How did Krug respond?  Simply by doubling again, this time scoring Jason Goldstein.

They didn’t intentionally walk Kerian in the ninth inning.  THAT was big mistake.  Kerian hit a two-run homer extending the Illini lead to 7-4.  Krug did get his third of the day though and eventually scored.

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Going back to the sixth inning, Kerian was thrown out at the plate on Krug’s double and there was a collision at the plate.  As you can see from the photo, the Wright State catcher was blocking the plate.  The Wright State head coach thought Kerian should have been ejected and thought he could convince the umpire.

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Well, you know how discussions like that can go.  Coach Greg Lovelady was eventually ejected himself.  When he wouldn’t leave, he was escorted out by the U of I Police.  An inning later, Wright State shortstop Mitch Roman was also ejected and escorted out.  Both had to watch (listen?) from the Illinois Field parking lot.

Oh, it turns out that the U of I Police Department has a sense of humor…

The bottom third of the order, Kerian, Krug and Ryne Roper combined for six hits and six rbis.

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Tyler Jay breaks school save record

J.D. Nielsen got the big win today with just one third of a innings work.  It was Tyler Jay who came in the sixth inning and showed everyone why he was chosen Big Ten Pitcher of the Year.  In four innings, he allowed just hit and struck out five Raider batters.  Retiring the last 12 batters, he earned his 14th save and clinched the win for the Illini.  Jay’s save break’s the school record for saves in a season.

 

 

Lots of photos are here at the IBR photo gallery.

If you’re interested in going to the Super Regional, keep an eye on @IllinoisBaseball on Twitter or their website.  Tickets are probably going on sale on Tuesday in the morning.  Vanderbilt was last year’s National Champion so either way you look at it, we’re looking at a new brand of baseball next weekend.

Great job, Illini!!


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Johnson’s shutout advances Illini to the Champaign Regional final!!

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Will Krug rounds third to score the first run in today’s win

In front of a rocking crowd of over 3000 at Illinois Field, top seed Illinois defeated #2 seed Notre Dame 3-0 behind a strong effort by starter Drasen Johnson who pitched a complete game shutout.  Illinois rallied for all three runs in the fifth inning. 

With the win, Illinois advances to the NCAA Champaign Regional Championship game played Monday at 1:05pm.  They will face the winner of tonight’s elimination matchup between Notre Dame and Wright State. 

Not only that but today’s victory gives Illinois a 49-8-1 record.  That ties the school record for the most wins in one season.  The 1982 baseball team also had 49 victories.  That’s extra incentive for winning as if Illinois needed any. 

 

Game #58 / May 31, 2015    
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Drasen Johnson was lights out against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish

To be honest, Drasen Johnson didn’t get off to the best start today.  In the first, he walked a batter and hit another.  It didn’t help that another got on via an error. 

However, Drasen got through it unscathed.  He allowed two hits in the second but after that, he seemed to just get stronger as the game progressed.  In fact, he only allowed three more hits for the rest of the game.  In typical Drasen Johnson fashion, he was efficient with his pitches and only walked one batter.  In all a fantastic performance. 

Drasen Johnson’s line:  9 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 6 K

Johnson improves to 10-3 for the year and his ERA is hovering just over the 2.00 mark at 2.01.  Today’s shutout was his first ever and his fifth career complete game. 

The Illini offense gave Johnson just what he needed in the fifth inning.  Will Krug started things off with a one-out base hit.  Ryne Roper hit the second pitch for s double scoring the speedy Krug.  Adam Walton followed that up with an rbi single driving home Roper.  Ryan Nagle’s base hit made it first and third then Reid Roper’s sacrifice fly scored Walton. 

That would be all the runs either team would score and Illinois came home winners 3-0. 

 

Random Ramblings

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Drew Dickinson, whatever you said to Drasen on the mound in the first inning, those were truly words of wisdom.  More photos from today’s game are here.  I included some from pre-game activities too. 

As I write this, I see that Notre Dame was blanked by Wright State 4-0 in tonight’s elimination game.  Wow, tough day for the Irish.  I had said to a few people that the Wright State Raiders were going to be a opponent to contend with.  So far, they’re hanging tough.  Seeing that’s the case, Illinois will be playing the Raiders tomorrow at 1pm at Illinois Field. 

So far, Illinois has two straight complete games in the Champaign Regional.  The elephant in the room is Big Ten Pitcher of the Year Tyler Jay who is always ready and willing to come in.  Coach Hartleb isn’t afraid to use him for four or five innings if need be either.  I’m willing to bet we’ll see Jay at some point tomorrow’s final game.

Can I say that I’m having the time of my life?  The atmosphere at Illinois Field is electric!  At this Regional event, I’ve noticed that there is less of a home field “feel” compared to regular season games.  I feel that’s fair, this is an NCAA event.  Having said that, I’ve noticed that the huge crowd is taking really taking initiative and showing their Illini Pride.  I’ll bet the players notice as well too.

It’s been great to see some former players this weekend who want to share in this team’s success.  So far, I’ve run into Pete Cappetta, Bryan Roberts, Mike Sterk, Dom Altobelli and Casey McMurray. 

 Great job, Illini!!


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Mother Nature a winner Saturday at Champaign Regional

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The Fighting Illini hope to repeat their Friday success against Notre Dame

In what was going to be a big day at the Champaign Regional turned out to be wash, literally speaking.  Saturday afternoon and evening rains prevented all but a few innings to be played.  Both games have all been pushed back one day and Game 3 will resume in third inning with the Wright State Raiders leading the Ohio Bobcats 5-2. 

New schedule

Game Three: No. 3 Wright State vs. No. 4 Ohio (resumed)
• 11 a.m. on Sunday, May 31.

Game Four: No. 1 Illinois vs. No. 2 Notre Dame
• 3 p.m. on Sunday, May 31.

Game Five: Winner Game Three vs. Loser Game Four
• 55 minutes following the conclusion of Game Four.

Game Six: Winner Game Four vs. Winner Game Five
• Monday, June 1. Time TBA.

You can find the full updated schedule here.  If you’re attending the Champaign Regional games, your ticket for the original game will be honored.  Also, having posted the updated schedule, keep in mind we live in Illinois with its weather.  Illinois Baseball’s Twitter account @IllinoisBaseball is the best way to keep up with the latest updates.

NCAA Regional Update

As this writing, the Big Ten is no longer undefeated in the NCAA Regionals.  Michigan took it on the chin from top seed Louisville 4-3 in the Louisville Regional (who have been battling the weather as well today).  Michigan will have a rematch with Bradley tomorrow in an elimination game. 

The Lake Elsinore Regional has experienced the first real upset of the Regionals.  Top seed UC Santa Barbara has already been eliminated after two games.  They’ve been defeated by San Diego State and USC.  In the Stillwater Regional, top seed Oklahoma State is on the rocks having lost to St John’s in the second round. 

So far, twelve teams have already been eliminated from the 64-team bracket. 

  • Ole Miss
  • UCSB
  • Oral Roberts
  • Canisius
  • East Carolina
  • Mercer
  • Florida A&M
  • Lehigh
  • Texas Southern
  • Sacred Heart
  • Lipscomb
  • Morehead St.

After tomorrow, this list should grow considerably.  Only four teams have gone 2-0 so far in the Regional.  They are Arkansas, Florida, Florida State and Louisville. Many games are in progress right now so a lot can change till the morning. 

Catch the full NCAA interactive bracket at 2015 Baseball Tournament Central.

See you at the ballpark!


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Homers by Roper and Kerian bolster Duchene’s NCAA Champaign Regional win over Ohio, 10-3

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Reid Roper gets congrats after his first inning homer

Friday night, top seed Illinois baseball got off to a good start in the NCAA Champaign Regional.  Behind a solid start of Kevin Duchene (11-1) and homers by David Kerian and Reid Roper, they defeated fourth seed Ohio University 10-3. 

With the win, Illinois will advance in the tournament and face Notre Dame on Saturday at 7pm.  The Fighting Irish defeated the Wright State Raiders 13-7 earlier in the day.  The Ohio Bobcats and Raiders will face off in an elimination game at noon. 

 

Game #57 / May 30, 2015    
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Kevin Duchene improves to 11-1 after his Champaign Regional win

Technically speaking, today’s Illini win was a comeback.  Ohio led 2-1 after one and a half innings but Illinois’ barrage of five runs pretty much established the dominance that would continue for the rest of the game.  David Kerian’s three run homerun was key to the big rally. 

Kevin Duchene pitched a solid complete game giving up just seven hits and three runs all earned.  That’s a good thing though as Duchene enjoyed the support of good defense to go along with the plentiful offense.  His win gives him an 11-1 record for the season. 

Offensive performers in today’s game:  David Kerian 1 for 2, HR, 3 rbis, 3 runs, Reid Roper 2 for 3, HR,  Will Krug 2 for 3, 3B, 2 runs, Ryne Roper 2 for 3, 2 rbis

 

 

Random Ramblings

Photos from tonight’s game here.  I also took a few photos at Game 1 between the Wright State and Notre Dame.

Illinois is one victory away from the school record of 49 set in 1982.  No time like this weekend to set a new record!

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Congratulations to Tyler Jay (above), Kevin Duchene and David Kerian.  Jay was named first team All-American and Duchene and Kerian were named second-team All-American.  This is the first time Illinois has had three All-Americans. 

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Former Illini Casey McMurray and Pete Cappetta were all thumbs up about the success of this year’s baseball team

The Big Ten was a perfect 5-0 today.  Iowa, Michigan, Indiana and Maryland were winners in their respective Regionals.  As always, get more info from 2015 Baseball Tournament Central.  

Great job, Illini!!


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