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CHAMPAIGN — Big innings by Purdue and lackluster defense by Illinois made for a long day on Monday at Illinois Field.

The Illini baseball team suffered a 20-6 loss to the Boilermakers, with Purdue sweeping the two-game series against Illinois.

The Boilermakers (10-15, 10-15 Big Ten) took advantage of three errors by the Illini to build an 8-0 lead after three innings and capped off the rout with a grand slam by Jeremy Schork in the ninth inning.

Centennial graduate Kellen Sarve was the lone bright spot for Illinois, with the first baseman going 3 for 4 with two RBI. Aidan Maldonado (0-2) took the loss, only lasting one inning and giving up five runs on four hits. He was one of eight pitchers the Illini used, with six of those pitchers giving up at least two runs.

Illinois also lost its Sunday afternoon game to Purdue, with the Boilermakers plating two runs in the top of the ninth inning off redshirt sophomore reliever Ryan Kutt for a 6-4 victory. The Illini built their lead gradually with an RBI single from redshirt sophomore shortstop Branden Comia in the first inning, a solo home run from redshirt freshman second baseman Xavier Watson in the fifth and a two-run home run from redshirt sophomore right fielder Cam McDonald in the eighth.

Kutt took the loss after giving up three runs on three hits in three innings.

In women’s tennis

Illini pull upset. Illinois wrapped up its regular-season slate with a 4-3 upset victory against No. 7 Northwestern on Sunday in Urbana. The Wildcats took the doubles point and then two early singles matches for a 3-0 lead before the Illini came storming back for the win.

Freshman Kate Duong clinched the come-from-behind victory with a 6-4, 6-7(7-4), 6-3 singles win. Josie Frazier put together a 6-4, 7-6(7-1) victory of her own in singles play, while Asuka Kawai won 0-6, 6-3, 6-4 and Emilee Duong 6-4, 2-6, 6-0 to start the singles comeback.

In men’s tennis

Winning ways continue. Big Ten West champion Illinois overcame an early 3-1 deficit at Northwestern to beat the Wildcats 4-3 and win its 13th straight match Sunday. The trio of Noe Khlif, Siphosothando Montsi and Hunter Heck helped the Illini complete their come-from-behind victory despite all three losing the first set in singles play.

Khlif topped Northwestern’s Chris Ephron 1-6, 6-3, 6-4 at No. 4 singles. Montsi faced a similar path to victory at No. 1 singles, pulling off a 2-6, 7-6, 6-3 win against Steve Forman. Heck’s 6-7, 6-4, 6-2 victory at No. 5 singles against Trice Pickens finished off the win.

In softball

Illini stumble. Illinois looked on its way to a series sweep Sunday against Purdue after a three-run fifth inning and junior ace Sydney Sickels in the circle, but the Boilermakers rallied in the sixth and held on for a 6-4 victory. Purdue chased Sickels and freshman reliever Tori McQueen in the sixth inning, and McQueen took the loss.

Sophomore third baseman Delaney Rummell went 2 of 3 with a double to lead Illinois (18-10, 18-10 Big Ten) at the plate, while junior second baseman Avrey Steiner, junior first baseman Kailee Powell (solo home run) and sophomore right fielder Gabi Robles drove in one run apiece.

In women’s golf

Nowlin leads way. Illinois senior Tristyn Nowlin posted her second straight top-five finish, shooting a 1-under 71 on Sunday in the Indiana Invitational to finish at 1-under and in fourth place.

The Illini tied for sixth as a team with Nebraska, 31 strokes behind first-place Kent State in Bloomington, Ind. Crystal Wang also notched a top 20 finish. The Illinois junior shot a 2-over 73 on Sunday to finish tied for 17th.

Scott Richey is a reporter covering college basketball at The News-Gazette. His email is, and you can follow him on Twitter (@srrichey).

College/Prep Sports Reporter

Scott Richey is a reporter covering college basketball at The News-Gazette. His email is, and you can follow him on Twitter (@srrichey).

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