Down the stretch they come
Tied for sixth place with nine Big Ten games left, Illinois baseball has little wiggle room if it is to qualify for the six-team Big Ten tournament at Target Field in Minneapolis. A by-the-numbers look in advance of this weekend’s series at fifth-place Michigan State (all games on WDWS 1400-AM):
Consecutive games in which Justin Parr has had a hit. It is the longest current streak in Division I and second longest overall in 2013, trailing Oklahoma’s Matt Oberste (30 games).
Consecutive games in which Jordan Parr — Justin’s twin brother — has had a hit. No slouch himself, Jordan ranks third in the Big Ten with six home runs and 40 runs.
Stolen bases in 102 attempts, which ranks second in the Big Ten and in the top 20 nationally. Eleven Illini have swiped a base in Dan Hartleb’s aggressive approach.
Illinois’ batting average with two outs in an inning, a major reason why it has rallied to win 11 times. Leading the way: David Kerian (.452) and Justin Parr (.385).
Home runs by the Illini, which ranks second in the Big Ten. While impressive, they won’t threaten the school record of 91 in 1998, Itch Jones’ sluggers falling a win short of the College World Series.