"It's nice to get started again," Hartleb said. "Our guys have done a good job working in the offseason, and this is a time where we have an opportunity to get into our team practices and prepare for our first game."
The Illini bring back their entire postseason starting rotation, led by sophomore Kevin Duchene. They also return about half of their starting position players, including second baseman/pitcher Reid Roper.
"Bringing back some key guys, we have some pitching depth," said Roper. "We have some young guys that are going to step up and fill some key roles for us. Once we get going, I think everything will come together."
Illinois opens the season February 14-16 with a series against Georgia State in Atlanta, Ga.
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