Illinois Invades Bloomington
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - For the first time since April 6, the Indiana baseball team returns to the friendly confines of Sembower Field. Following a 10-game road trip, the Hoosiers come home to face the Fighting Illini of Illinois in a four-game series on Friday-Sunday, April 22-24. IU enters the contest with a 19-16 overall record and a 3-9 Big Ten mark, while U of I sits at 20-11-1 and 9-3 in league play, tied for the top spot with Minnesota.
The teams will open the series with a 3 p.m. start on Friday, April 22, before playing a doubleheader at 1 p.m. on Saturday, April 23. The series concludes with a 1 p.m. finale on Sunday, April 24.
At Sunday's game, Indiana Director of Athletics Rick Greenspan will sing 'Take Me Out To The Ballgame' during the seventh-inning stretch.
Follow all four games live by clicking here. Additionally, Friday and Sunday's games will be broadcast live. Click here to listen to live coverage between the Hoosiers and Fighting Illini.
The Cream and Crimson take on first-place Illinois after recording a 2-3 mark last week. IU dropped Miami (Ohio), 5-2, on April 13, before losing three out of four games in Iowa City to Iowa.
Behind a seven-run sixth inning, Indiana rallied from a 5-1 deficit to defeat the Hawkeyes, 11-7, in the series finale on April 17.
Junior first baseman Ryan Parker turned in a big performance, finishing a home run shy of the cycle and going 4-for-5 with two RBI and two runs. Additionally, junior left fielder Jay Brant was 2-for-5, adding four RBI and scoring twice.
Brant and Parker provided the game-changing hits, with Brant clearing the bases with a double off the left field fence for a 7-5 IU lead in the sixth. Batting for the second time in the frame, Parker collected his second hit with a double into right as Brant scampered home with the Hoosiers' eighth and eventual game-winning run.
Two pitchers earned career firsts in the contest. Junior southpaw Adam Poole pitched two innings and gave up a pair of runs en route to his first victory as a Hoosier, and freshman right-hander Chris McCombs scored his first career save. McCombs came in for Poole and tossed the final four innings of one-hit ball, surrendering one earned run and striking out three.
In the victory over Miami, senior Joe Kemp fired a scoreless ninth to earn his first career save, and sophomore Matt Saba notched his third victory in four decisions, tossing 1 2/3 innings without allowing a run.
The Illini pose a balanced attack, leading the Big Ten in pitching with a 3.72 ERA and card a .310 batting average, good for second in the conference.
U of I senior first baseman Dusty Bensko leads the league with nine home runs and 39 RBI, and he is seventh in the conference with a .377 batting average.
On the mound, Brian Blomquist has been spectacular, posting a 7-1 record with a microscopic 1.86 ERA. The junior leads the Big Ten in both categories to go along with a league-high 58 innings pitched.
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