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CHAMPAIGN — As the ball left Justin Parr’s bat in the eighth inning Sunday afternoon, the Illinois center fielder was prepared to shift down into his home run trot.
“I thought it was gone,” he said.
MONTICELLO — Bryan Phipps isn’t out to prove anything. That mission already was accomplished.
He isn’t trying to impress anyone. The numbers speak for themselves.
The Monticello High athlete is going to play a basketball game today and then join the ranks of those who derive their enjoyment and pleasure by watching contests from the sidelines or from an armchair.
■ Rantoul 4-10, Kankakee 1-4. CORD CHURCH (two hits, RBI) and CHRIS DEAVILLE (two RBI) lifted the Eagles in Game 1. KOLTON VERMILLION had three doubles and five RBI in Game 2, TANNER McLAIN adding two hits and two RBI.
CHAMPAIGN — It took Reid Roper exactly two at-bats to hit his first home run as a college baseball player.
A sign of things to come?
Not exactly. Following that memorable debut in an Illinois uniform on Feb. 17, 2012, the Harrisburg native went 74 games without a fences-clearing hit.
It’s a streak that still baffles Dan Hartleb.
We asked beat writer MARCUS JACKSON for his take on John Groce’s latest commitment:
Staff writer Matt Daniels' take on this weekend's Illinois spring game at Memorial Stadium:
WHAT WENT RIGHT
CHAMPAIGN — Mike Thomas likes what he sees with the Illinois men's basketball program.
So much so that the Illinois athletic director announced Saturday a one-year extension and a $200,000 raise for coach John Groce that increases his compensation to $1.6 million.
CHAMPAIGN — Bring out the jabs.
Corey Lewis has heard them before from his Illinois football teammates.
That the sixth-year offensive lineman was in Champaign when Ron Turner was in town from 1997 to 2004.
That the Cresco, Pa., native played along the line with former Illinois offensive line coach Luke Butkus from 1998 to 2001.
COLUMBUS, Ohio — Allison Falkin and Melissa Kopinski set the tone in singles as Illinois won at Ohio State 5-2 on Friday to even its women’s Big Ten tennis record.
Falkin (No. 1 singles) and Kopinski (No. 2) each won in straight sets to help the Illini kick off a weekend road trip in impressive fashion.