Sunday's UI roundup: Illini sweep doubleheader at Gophers

Sunday's UI roundup: Illini sweep doubleheader at Gophers

MINNEAPOLIS — The Illinois baseball team clinched its first Big Ten series of the season Sunday, sweeping its doubleheader on the road at Minnesota with a 4-2 win in the opener before closing with a 13-3 victory.

The Illini (22-11, 3-5 Big Ten) will go for the series sweep of the Gophers (14-18, 6-5) at noon today.

Left-hander Andy Fisher helped pace Illinois to a win in the first tilt of the day, as the redshirt senior allowed just two runs on 10 hits over six innings. The Illini bullpen then left Minnesota hitless over the final three innings to seal the win.

Illinois also received four hits from junior Ben Troike, which tied a career-best performance at the plate.

Junior Ty Weber got the ball in the second game, but it was the Illini offense that forced the Gophers to unravel.

Redshirt senior Zac Taylor, who tallied two hits and two RBI in each game, blasted a solo home run in the first inning.

Illinois then erupted for a six-run fourth inning to put the game out of reach, while plating another four runs in seventh for safe measure.

Aside from Taylor, six other Illini finished the latter game with at least one RBI. Freshman Branden Comia also tallied two hits.

In men's tennis

Upset bid falls short. No. 14 Illinois recovered from an early deficit Sunday afternoon against No. 2 Ohio State, using a pair of singles wins to lock the Buckeyes up at 2-all.

But the upset bid never came any closer, as the Illini suffered a 4-2 defeat on their home courts at Atkins Tennis Center in Urbana.

The Illini lost the first point after the Buckeyes snatched up two quick wins in doubles.

The momentum stayed in Ohio State's favor to start singles, as freshman Keenan Mayo fell 6-1, 6-1 to make it 2-0 against Illinois.

But juniors Zeke Clark (6-2, 6-2) and Vuk Budic (6-2, 6-2) quickly evened the odds with wins to give the Illini some upset potential.

The fun ended there, though, for Illinois as Ohio State claimed a pair of two-set tiebreakers to clinch the match and hand the Illini their first Big Ten loss of the season (8-1).

In women's tennis

Illini roll Gophers. Illinois capped a perfect 2-0 weekend with a 6-1 victory on the road Sunday at Minnesota, marking its fifth win in its last six matches.

The Illini raced out to seize the doubles point behind wins from senior Daniela Pedraza Novak and sophomore Emilee Duong (6-0) along with sophomore Sasha Belaya and senior Jaclyn Switkes (7-5).

The momentum continued for all four in singles, as each pulled out a victory to tally another point in favor of Illinois. Pedraza Novak's three-set win (4-6, 6-1, 6-3) allowed the Illini to clinch, while sophomore Asuka Kawai also prevailed in three sets.

In women's golf

Singhsumalee shines. Senior Bing Singhsumalee recorded her fourth top-three individual finish of her career Sunday at the Lady Buckeye Invitational in Columbus, Ohio, pacing No. 22 Illinois to a fourth-place finish as a team amid rainy conditions.

Singhsumalee carded 76 in the final round to bring her score to a 2-over 218, just two strokes off runner-up Virunpat Olankitkunchai of Maryland and three off winner Pilar Echeverria of University of Indianapolis.

Freshman Crystal Wang carded 8-over 224 to enter a five-way tie for 13th and join her as the only other Illini in the top 15 of the leaderboard.