CHAMPAIGN — Illinois scored 10 runs in the first three innings and stayed in command thereafter to defeat Mississippi Valley State 12-4 on Saturday in a nonconference baseball game at Illinois Field. The top of the batting order did most of the damage for the Illini, with the first five hitters combining to go 11 for 20 with nine RBI and eight runs.
"We picked up where we left off yesterday," said coach Dan Hartleb, whose Illini set season highs for runs (15) and hits (20) Friday in a series-opening victory against the Delta Devils. "We've been swinging the bats well for a few games."
Led by Willie Argo's three hits, six Illini had multiple hits and two others hit safely as the team totaled 15 hits. Jordan Parr doubled, tripled and drove in three runs. Leadoff hitter Thomas Lindauer went 2 for 2 with three walks.
Freshman right-hander Josh Ferry, making his third collegiate start, went the first five innings to earn the win. Ferry (2-1) struck out five and allowed four runs, three earned.
UI relievers Brian de la Torriente, Matt Milroy and Reid Roper combined to hold MVSU without a hit in the final four innings.
Illinois (14-10) and the Delta Devils (6-22) will conclude the series at 12:05 p.m. today.
Pitchers Kayla Massey and Chelsea Lyon combined to limit the Illini to two runs and nine hits, leading host Iowa to a doubleheader sweep. Massey worked around five walks in the Hawkeyes' opening 5-1 victory. Lyon threw a three-hitter in a Iowa's six-inning 9-1 win in the nightcap.
"In the first game we, for four innings, had runners on base but left them on, and we really needed to set the tone and score first," Illini coach Terri Sullivan said. "We had great opportunities to do that and didn't strike first."
In men's golf:
Illinois shot a school-record 273 in the second round to move up to third place in the 16-team Augusta (Ga.) State Invitational. Entering today's final round, the Illini are at 12-under 564 and trail co-leaders Texas and Augusta State by 5 strokes.
Illini sophomore Thomas Pieters shot a 6-under 66 in the second round and was in fourth place at 138. Teammate Mason Jacobs, who shot a 67 in the second round, was in a four-way tie for fifth place at 139.
In women's track & field:
The Illini broke three meet records on the final day of the Big Blue Classic at Charleston.
Freshman Asia Thomas won the 400 meters in 54.51 seconds; sophomore Stephanie Richartz captured the pole vault in 13 feet, 1 3/4 inches; and sophomore Jesica Ejesieme placed second in the 100 hurdles in 13.74.