GREENVILLE, N.C. — Freshman Nick Blackburn pitched into the seventh inning as Illinois extended its winning streak to three with a 5-2 win against Boston College at the Keith LeClair Classic.
“Pitching was the difference today,” UI coach Dan Hartleb said. “Blackburn gave us a really, really good start. He controlled the game and minimized a rough inning by only giving up one run and getting a double play ball. I also felt really good about our bullpen.”
Will Krug had three hits, Jordan Parr drove in two runs and Justin Parr went 2 for 4 for the Illini (4-3), who batted .300 in going 3-1 at the tournament. David Kerian led the Illini with a .571 average (8 of 14 at the tournament. Justin Parr and Krug each hit .438 (7 for 16).
“We are a much better team today than we were last weekend,” Hartleb said. “I was proud of the way our guys battled back and kept their composure to get us back over .500. We have done a good job as a team of staying together and not panicking.”
Blackburn didn’t allow an earned run and struck out five in 6 2/3 innings.
In women’s tennis:
UI 5, Oklahoma 2. At Atkins Tennis Center, Breanne Smutko, Audrey O’Connor and Rachael White won singles and doubles matches as the Illini (6-4) extended their winning streak to four. The Illini, 6-0 when winning the doubles point, beat the Sooners for the first time in five matches.
“The team inspired me today,” UI coach Michelle Dasso said. “They dug deep with their competitive energy and fiery spirit against a very talented Oklahoma team. The girls wanted it, and it showed.”
Georgia Tech 1, UI 0. Allie Bauch was 2 for 4 and Jade Smith went 2 for 3 for the Illini, who finished 0-4 at the Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic at Palm Springs, Calif.