No. 8 Illinois extended the nation's longest winning streak Friday night, beating Penn State 10-1.
The Illinois baseball team beat Indiana 6-3 Saturday afternoon behind Drasen Johnson's compete game while the Illinois softball team swept Wisconsin in a doubleheader, 5-3 in the first game and 12-8 in the second.
BASEBALL Indiana 1 Illinois 5 (F)
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Illinois baseball coach Dan Hartleb admitted this week that not only making the NCAA Tournament - but hosting a regional - has become a real goal for his team.
BASEBALL Illinois 7 ISU 3 (F)
BASEBALL Purdue 1 Illinois 2 (F)
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Illinois closer Tyler Jay has been named to the midseason Golden Spikes Award watch list, an award given to the nation's top amateur player.
COLLEGE BASEBALL Illinois 14 EIU 10 (F)
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Illinois will take a five-game winning streak into tomorrow's showdown with Eastern Illinois. Coming off a series sweep over Northwestern Dan Hartleb's team continues to climb in the national polls - now up to No. 12 in the D1Baseball.com rankings. They also jumped up seven spots to No. 17 in the Baseball America Top 25.
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Major League Baseball scouts are in Champaign on a regular basis, and no one gets more attention than pitcher Tyler Jay. The junior is a projected first round pick.
SAUGET, Ill. - David Kerian blasted a go-ahead two-run home run in the sixth inning to lead No. 15 Illinois to a 4-3 win over Missouri in the annual Braggin' Rights game at GCS Ballpark in Sauget. Illinois (21-6-1) returns home for a three-game series against Northwestern starting Friday.
E. LANSING, Mich. - Adam Walton drove in three runs, including some insurance in the ninth as the 15th-ranked Illinois baseball team outlasted Michigan State 13-9 in the series finale Monday. Jason Goldstein and Ryne Roper drove in two runs apiece as Illinois (20-6-1) takes two of three from the Spartans.
The 17th-ranked Illinois baseball team beat Michigan St. 8-4 Saturday afternoon in the first game of a three game series in East Lansing.
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - The Illinois baseball team raced out to a 9-1 lead and never looked back as they avenge an earlier loss to Kent State with a 9-4 victory. Rob McDonnell (W, 2-1) picked up the win on the mound for the Illini, who improve to 18-5-1 this season.
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Illinois junior Kevin Duchene was named Big Ten Pitcher of the Week Monday after his stellar performance Friday against South Florida. Duchene struck out eight batters in seven innings. He allowed just two hits and no earned runs. Duchene is now 3-1 on the season with a 0.67 ERA.
BASEBALL S. Florida 1 #18 Illinois 13 (F) SOFTBALL #15 Minnesota 14 Illinois 2 (F)
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Illinois Field will have a brand new addition when the Illinois baseball team takes the field against South Florida this weekend. A new video board and scoreboard sits just outside the right field wall. The 36'x19' board is not functional yet, but they hope to have it up and running later this season.
BASEBALL LU-Belleville 1 Illinois 7 (F)
COLLEGE BASEBALL Southern Illinois 2 Illinois 0
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Pat McInerney drove home three runs and Reid Roper plated a pair as Illinois beat Chicago State 7-3 in their home opener Tuesday at Illinois Field. Rob McDonnell earned the win, striking out four over six shutout innings.
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - The Illinois baseball team is off to it's best start in 15 years. Illinois (4-0) leads the Big Ten in ERA, and what's even more impressive is they did it without their ace Kevin Duchene. Head coach Dan Hartleb announced Monday Duchene has been suspended. He did not make the trip to Texas over the weekend, and he won't compete this weekend. Duchene won the Big Ten ERA title last season.
The Illinois baseball team beat Lamar 9-3 Sunday afternoon at the Cardinal Classic in Beaumont, Texas to start the season 4-0 for the first time in 15 years.
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Illinois ace Kevin Duchene says he is 100% healthy, and he is showing no ill-effects after he was sidelined for six weeks last season with tightness in his forearm. Duchene pitched well when he came back from that injury at the end of last season; in fact he won the Big Ten ERA title. He also pitched a full, healthy summer in the Cape Cod League. The former freshman All-American is 13-2 in his Illinois career with an ERA of 2.39, and he is looking forward to a big junior season. "Getting hurt last year was kind of an eye-opener," he said. "You never know when those things are gonna come, so I just tried to get my body in peak physical form to try to avoid anything like that again. I would say that I tried to refine my change-up a little bit to both sides of the plate, try and open up the inside part of the dish a little bit more for my fastball."
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Oakwood grad Casey Fletcher is ready for his last season with the Illinois baseball team. The senior, and son of former Major Leaguer Darrin Fletcher, made a huge impact in his first season in orange and blue last year. Fletcher hit .308 with six home runs and 27 RBI as a junior. Now he is looking for even more success this year, both individually and as a team. "It all started with the offseason," Fletcher said. "I knew I had to come in here and get bigger, faster, and stronger. I did some good things last year, but I think I need to come out and have a big year this year. We have a lot of upperclassmen, a lot of senior leaders, so we'll be able to get the job done this year. I'm feeling pretty confident about this team." Fletcher leads an Illini offense that returns five players who hit .295 or better last year.
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - The season opener is less than three weeks away for the Illinois baseball team. The orange and blue are as confident as they have been in quite some time. They return basically their entire starting lineup and starting rotation. If the first day of practice is any indication, they're already ahead of the game. "Usually your first day back at things there's a number of errors, things you have to clean up," said head coach Dan Hartleb. "We were sharp. Again it's just a good group of guys that have done a very good job in the offseason. They believe that we have an opportunity to win at a high level, and now we just have to put in the work and get our jobs done." Illinois starts the season on the road February 13th. Their home opener is March 10th.
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Kyle Hudson is already on campus and getting down to work as the newest volunteer assistant coach for Illinois baseball team. He was hired last week. The former Illini two-sport star and Mattoon grad has been in professional baseball since 2008, and he said he thought the time was right to call it quits and pass along his knowledge as a coach for the first time. "It was kind of quiet as far as organizations coming to me and asking me to play for them," Hudson said of his decision to retire. "Coach Hartleb gave me a call a couple weeks ago and said his volunteer assistant was leaving for a different job, and he asked if I wanted to possibly do that while I'm going back to school, and I thought it was just a great opportunity."
Illinois improved to 7-1 Saturday after beating American 70-55. Malcolm Hill had a team high 13 points. The Illini play Villanova in New York City Tuesday.
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (UI Release) - The Fighting Illini baseball team will have an exciting opportunity to take a foreign tour trip to the Dominican Republic in November. The trip runs from Nov. 22-29 during the University of Illinois' Thanksgiving break week and includes games against multiple Dominican Summer League (DSL) teams. NCAA regulations allow teams to make foreign trips once every four years and this will be Illinois' first one taken in the modern era. "We are really excited about the opportunity to take our players to the Dominican Republic," head coach Dan Hartleb said. "I have been able to travel to the Dominican over the past two summers, and it has been interesting to see the work ethic and desire for the game of baseball in their culture. From a baseball standpoint, we are going to be playing some of the best players in the world at that age level. Each organization in Major League Baseball has a Dominican complex, so it will give us the chance to play eight games. All of our players will be able to play during the week, and it will help our development as we prepare for the 2015 season."
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Illinois LHP Tyler Jay had the opportunity of a lifetime this summer. He had the chance to play with the USA Collegiate National Team. And he didn't just play on the team; he was arguably USA's best pitcher. Jay led the team with 15 appearances. He went 2-0 with a perfect 0.00 era and 21 strikeouts in 16.2 IP. This was against countries like Japan, Cuba, Netherlands and Chinese Taipei. Jay will come back to the Illinois bullpen next spring, and head coach Dan Hartleb expects Jay to be better than ever.
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - The Illinois baseball team's newest assistant coach, Spencer Allen, was in town and on the job Monday. Allen has 12 years of coaching experience, including stints with Purdue, Washington State and most recently Creighton. He is known as a top-notch recruiter, and he is ready to hit the ground running.
Illinois junior-to-be Tyler Jay is one of 24 players on the USA national collegiate team this summer. Jay was one of four pitchers to help the United States no-hit the Netherlands earlier this summer.
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Illinois baseball coach Dan Hartleb has a valuable position to fill on his staff with the news that associate head coach Eric Snider has taken a job at Louisville. The Cardinals announced Tuesday that Snider will become their new hitting coach and recruiting coordinator.
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - One Illinois player was drafted in last weekend's Major League Baseball First Year Player Draft, and head coach Dan Hartleb thinks he has a chances to have a long professional career. Illinois senior relief pitcher Ronnie Muck was taken by the Los Angeles Angels in the 30th round of the draft on Saturday.
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - While 64 teams prepare for the opening rounds of the NCAA Tournament, Illinois head coach Dan Hartleb is looking ahead to next season after his team was left on the outside looking in at the NCAA Tournament picture. Illinois was not selected for the field on Monday despite a strong resume.
The Illinois baseball team was not one of the 64 teams selected to participate in the NCAA tournament. The Illini finish the season with a 32-21 record.
OMAHA, Neb. (UI Release) - After the start of the Thursday's game was pushed back an hour and a half due to a rain delay, No. 3 Illinois (32-20) knocked No. 7 Ohio State (30-28) out of the Big Ten Tournament with a 6-5 victory at TD Ameritrade Park. The Illini never trailed and saw their offense come alive with every player in the lineup recording a hit for their second-highest output this season (15).
OMAHA, Neb. (UI Release) - No. 3 Illinois' comeback streak against No. 6 Michigan State came to an end on Wednesday in the Big Ten Tournament opener, falling 2-1 to the Spartans at TD Ameritrade Park. Starter Drasen Johnson tied his career high with 10 strikeouts, but the Illini offense left 12 men on base and only scored on a bases-loaded walk.
OMAHA, Neb. - The Illinois baseball team's postseason journey begins Wednesday in the same place where the college baseball postseason ends - at T.D. AmeriTrade Park in Omaha, Nebraska, the site of the College World Series. For Illinois, it's the first round of the Big Ten Tournament Wednesday morning against Michigan State.
Illinois lost to Nebraska 7-4. The Illini will be the three-seed in the Big Ten Tournament.
LINCOLN, Neb. (UI Release) - Sophomore Kevin Duchene looked back to his old form on Friday night, helping Illinois even the series with Nebraska and move back into a tie for second place in the Big Ten with a 5-1 victory. Duchene (3-1) earned his first win since March 14 and retired 14 in a row at one point while only allowing one run in six innings. Sophomore Adam Walton went 3-for-4 and belted his first career home run to put the Illini in front.
LINCOLN, Neb. (UI Release) - The Illini came up on the wrong end of a pitcher's duel on Thursday night, dropping the opener to No. 28 Nebraska, 2-1, at Haymarket Park. Redshirt-junior Drasen Johnson (5-6) threw his second career eight-inning complete game, but suffered the loss for the second time this year while doing so. Illinois struck out 12 times and only managed three hits, equaling its season low.
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - The Illinois baseball team (30-17) will take a seven-game winning streak into its last Big Ten series of the year at Nebraska this weekend. By all accounts Illinois needs to win at least two out of three to feel good about earning an at-large bid into the NCAA Tournament. WCIA 3's Matt Wettersten has more.
IOWA CITY, Iowa (UI Release) - Illini pitchers Drasen Johnson and Tyler Jay shined on the mound and junior Casey Fletcher turned in his third straight game-winning hit in Illinois' 4-1 victory over Iowa. Johnson allowed one run in the first inning before he and Jay followed it with eight scoreless stanzas. Fletcher blooped a go-ahead two-out, two-run single in the sixth that propelled Illinois to its fifth straight win.
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - The Illinois baseball team starts its second-to-last Big Ten series of the year Friday night at Iowa with the Illini currently tied for second place in the league. lllinois' main goal right now is to bolster its NCAA Tournament resume. By most accounts the Illini are just outside the bubble right now, but they have plenty of opportunities to play their way in.
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Illinois ace Kevin Duchene was back on the hill for the Illini last weekend, and the sophomore expects to provide a big boost for the Orange and Blue down the stretch. Duchene pitched for the first time in a month-and-a-half against Michigan State on Sunday, allowing just one run in three innings. He threw just 44 pitches, 33 for strikes, as he works his way back from a strained forearm. Head coach Dan Hartleb was pleased with the way Duchene threw, and he expects his ace to start again on Sunday at Iowa.
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - The Illinois baseball community is still buzzing about the week that outfielder Casey Fletcher had for the Orange and Blue. In four games, Fletcher hit .471 with five home runs, 10 RBI and two walk-off hits. WCIA 3's Matt Wettersten takes a look back at a week to remember for the Oakwood grad.
Casey Fletcher hit another walk-off hit Sunday as the Illini completed the sweep of Michigan State. It capped a huge week for the Illini junior.
Casey Fletcher hit two home runs and had the game-winning hit in the bottom of the 10th inning helping the Illini defeat Michigan State 5-4.
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (UI Release) - After a pitcher's duel for the first seven innings, Michigan State took a 4-2 lead with a three-run eighth, but Illinois responded with its own three-run eighth to battle back and win the series opener, 5-4. Junior David Kerian plated sophomore Adam Walton as the tying run on a two-out RBI triple and scored the game-winning run on a wild pitch
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Illinois junior Casey Fletcher had a career night, belting three home runs, to lead Illinois past SIU 10-1 Wednesday night at Illinois Field. Fletcher entered the game with only one home run all season, but he left the yard in the third, sixth and seventh innings. The Oakwood grad finished with a season-high five RBI. "I'm just kind of taking it in right now," Fletcher said. "I wasn't trying [to hit home runs]. I was just sticking with my approach, and I just put good swings on it. I got pitches I could pull and just hit it out." Fletcher's three home runs are one shy of Illinois' all-time record (Bubba Smith, 4). He is the first Illinois player to hit three homers in a game since Willie Argo did it March 7, 2009 at No. 1 LSU.