Gerber shuts door for Illini baseball

Gerber shuts door for Illini baseball

CHAMPAIGN — Illinois closer Joey Gerber brought normalcy to an otherwise wild Big Ten game.

Gerber struck out two of the final three batters, and the Illinois baseball team held on for a 13-12 win over Rutgers on Friday at Illinois Field

The Illini (21-8, 7-3 Big Ten) jolted out to a substantial lead after hammering in nine runs during the first inning — their highest-scoring inning of the season.

The Scarlet Knights (18-12, 4-3), however, sprung back to life with a 10-run fourth inning. With the game tied at 12 in the eighth inning, Jeff Korte slashed the go-ahead RBI single into right field. The Illini catcher went 3 for 5 with a home run and a game-high four RBI.

Gerber now has 10 saves in 15 appearances this season.

In women's tennis

Freshmen shine. Young talent helped the No. 14 Illinois women's tennis cruise past Minnesota 4-0 on Friday at Atkins Tennis Center, as freshmen contributed to all four points.

The 38th-ranked duo of freshman Sasha Belaya and junior Daniela Pedraza-Novak hurried to a 6-2 victory to begin doubles play, while freshmen Mia Rabinowitz and Asuka Kawai quickly won 6-1 to clinch the point for Illinois (18-3, 7-2 Big Ten).

Then Rabinowitz, Kawai and freshman Emilee Duong each won in singles to seal the match.

In softball

Finale canceled. After dropping the first two games in the series, Illinois softball team never got its shot at redemption against Wisconsin as inclement weather canceled Friday's series finale in Madison, Wis.

No make-up game has been scheduled.