EAST LANSING, Mich. — Illinois looked well on its way to a blowout win in the series finale against Michigan State with a 10-2 lead after plating three more runs in the top of the seventh inning Monday. Then the Spartans scored three runs in the bottom of the seventh and four more in the eighth to pull within one run at 10-9.
By SPENCER BROWN
EAST LANSING, Mich. — The Illini opened their Big Ten baseball season with an impressive 8-4 victory against Michigan State on Saturday.
Kevin Duchene set the tone, striking out five Spartans and allowing one earned run in six innings. Duchene improved to 4-1.
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. — Six-tenths of a point.
That’s all that stood between Illinois and its 28th Big Ten title and first since winning four straight from 2009 to ’12.
Six-tenths of a point.
CHAMPAIGN — An Illinois baseball team that entered the season not necessarily known for hitting home runs changed that perception on Saturday.
All of the runs accounted for by the Illini in a 5-2 win against South Florida at Illinois Field came off three home runs.
CHAMPAIGN — Jade Vecvanags and Krista Menke pitched complete games Tuesday for Illinois and North Dakota State softball, respectively. But the Illini offense couldn’t support Vecvanags in a 3-0 defeat.
Vecvanags (2-4) tossed seven innings, allowing three earned runs and striking out seven.
COLLEGE STATION, Texas — Jared Hiltzik, Aron Hiltzik, Aleks Vukic and Toshiki Matsuya all recorded singles wins Sunday for the fourth-ranked Illinois men’s tennis, pacing the team in a 4-2 win against ninth-ranked Texas A&M.
CHAMPAIGN — Drasen Johnson tossed his third career complete game Saturday to help Illinois baseball to a 6-2 victory, evening the Illini’s series against Southern Illinois at one game apiece.
Johnson (2-1) threw 101 pitches, allowing two runs on 10 hits and recording two strikeouts.
NEW ORLEANS — Illinois sprinter DJ Zahn was named the United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) Midwest Region Track Athlete of the Year on Monday, and Illini assistant coach Adrian Wheatley was awarded Midwest Region Assistant Coach of the Year.
STILLWATER, Okla. — David Kerian drove in the game-winning run with a two-run homer in the top of the 10th Sunday, leading 27th-ranked Illinois past 10th-ranked Oklahoma State 4-2.
The Illini (11-3-1) took two of three in the weekend road series.