Saturday's UI roundup: Diab, Carter emerge as Big Ten champs

Saturday's UI roundup: Diab, Carter emerge as Big Ten champs

IOWA CITY, IOWA — Make it four in a row.

Senior Alex Diab captured his fourth straight Big Ten title on still rings Saturday night at the Big Ten Championships in Iowa City, scoring 14.975 in the event to become just the second gymnast in conference history to win four straight Big Ten titles in any event.

Diab, though, wasn't the only Illini to celebrate a title. Freshman Hamish Carter took home the Big Ten high bar title with a leading scorer of 14.175 in his first-ever Big Ten Championships.

In baseball

Illini drop series. Illinois baseball picked up its first Big Ten victory of the season with a 5-1 win over Maryland to start Saturday's doubleheader, but the Terrapins battled back to win 8-4 in the finale as the Illini dropped their second conference series.

Grant Van Scoy tallied three hits in the opener to back up Ty Weber on the bound, as the Illini right-hander gave up just one run in 7 2 / 3 innings to help even the series early Saturday.

A pair of three-run home runs from the Terrapins in the second game, though, helped them clinch the series against the Illini.

Illinois fought back to a 4-4 tie in the seventh before the final three-run shot put the game out of reach.

In softball

UI splits day. Illinois started off its day on the right note, using a walk-off home run in the bottom of the eighth inning to win 4-3 over Minnesota before falling 10-3 in the second game at Eichelberger Field.

Back-to-back singles from Kiana Sherlund and Carly Thomas in the third inning of the first game, putting runners in scoring position and setting up Annie Fleming for a run-scoring double to break a 0-0 tie.

Minnesota tallied a run in each the sixth, seventh and eighth innings before Katie Wingerter smacked a two-run homer to seal the victory.

Freshman Sydney Sickels allowed three runs, just two earned, on six hits to earn the complete-game victory.

A five-run first inning, though, allowed the Gophers to pull ahead early in the second game. Thomas cranked her own two-run homer in the third inning, but the Illini (24-10) were unable to close the gap and settled for a split.

In men's tennis

Illini blank Spartans. It took little time for No. 15 Illinois to speed to a 7-0 win over Michigan State on Saturday in East Lansing, Mich., as the Illini notched the program's 27th straight victory over the Spartans.

Gui Gomes and Vuk Budik snatched a 6-0 victory in doubles before a 6-3 win from Keenan Mayo and Noe Khlif clinched the opening point. The same Illini quartet, along with Alex Brown and Aleks Kovacevic, also prevailed in singles to propel Illinois to its third sweep in its last four wins.

In women's tennis

UI shuts down MSU. Playing outdoors at Atkins Tennis Center for the first time since April 2017, Illinois pushed its flawless home streak to six wins with a 6-0 sweep of Michigan State.

The Illini began with a pair of doubles wins to capture their 13th doubles point in 18 matches this season, as Sasha Belaya and Jaclyn Switkes (6-2) and Asuka Kawai and Mia Rabinowitz (6-4) won as tandems.

Emilee Duong and Daniela Pedraza Novak then picked up three-set victories in singles to set up Rabinowitz for the match-clincher in straight sets.

In men's golf

UI sits in 7th. Illinois fit into the middle of the pack Saturday at the Augusta Haskins Award Invitational in Augusta, Ga., sitting seventh in the 15-team field after finishing the first day 1-over par.

Adrien Dumont de Chassart fired 68 in his first round, the Illini's best single-round score of the day, and finished tied for 22nd as an individual at 2-under 142. Giovanni Tadiotto and Varun Chopra both carded 1-under 143 to each share a piece of 25th place.

In men's track and field

Loud, Quinn lead. Irwin Loud won the 1,500-meter run in 3 minutes, 52.31 seconds to pace Illinois at The Reveille Meet in College Station, Texas.

Bret Dannis also took first in the 110 hurdles while Devin Quinn wrapped up second place in the 100 dash.

In women's track and field

Cast leads way. Nicki Cast took third in the 3,000-meter steeplechase to pace Illinois at The Reveille Meet in College Station, Texas, on Saturday night, while Laruen Katz finished sixth in the event.

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