UI, Gophers await rematch
MINNEAPOLIS — D.J. Snelten and Billy Soule accomplished what no other pitchers could this season — holding the Illinois baseball team scoreless for an entire game.
The duo combined on a seven-hit shutout Saturday afternoon to lead Minnesota to a 2-0 Big Ten victory in the regular season finale for both teams.
The game was scoreless until the bottom of the eighth inning, when the Gophers broke through against Illini starter John Kravetz.
“That is one of the best-pitched games you will see in college baseball,” Illini coach Dan Hartleb said. “You had two starters who went out and battled.”
Fifth-seeded Illinois and fourth-seeded Minnesota will square off again at 12:05 p.m. Wednesday in the opener of the Big Ten tournament at Target Field in Minneapolis (pairings, D-7). Illinois (33-16, 14-10) clinched a spot in the six-team tournament Friday after winning the first two games of the series against the Gophers.
“It was a disappointing loss, but I was pleased with the way we showed up,” Hartleb said of the series finale. “We didn’t take anything for granted and played very hard.”
Kravetz (4-2) took a no-hitter into the sixth inning and held Minnesota to four hits in 71/3 innings.