Illini swept in Keith LeClair Classic

Five in a row.  I’ll bet Coach Hartleb will have a few words with the team in the locker room after this one.  

It was a tough one to lose.  Once again, Illinois had the lead only to lose it.  They were up by scores of 4-1 and 5-3 but West Virginia pecked away till it was gone.  Any chance of a comeback was lessened when the Mountaineers rallied for five in the eighth.  To their credit, the Illini didn’t give up and scored three before the game was over, making the a little interesting.  Final score 11-8.

Quite honestly though, we got some good offense.  Twelve hits and eight runs.  That should be enough to win most college games.  Unfortunately, West Virginia scored more today and we lost.

By the numbers

63 Times Illini batters have struck out for the season
.526 Matt Dittman’s season batting average 
4/13 Opposing batters hit by pitch today/season


Illinois continues to be a little impatient at the plate.  They struck out 10 times today, nine times in the last seven innings.  But obviously, we got some good performances from the plate. 

Matt Dittman continues his hot hitting.  He was 3 for 4 with 2 runs and an rbi.  Casey McMurray’s weekend shaped up pretty well.  Today, he got two more hits plus two rbis and two runs. 

Freshman Brandon Hohl showed his performance during the Big Ten/BIG EAST Challenge was no fluke by adding two hits and three rbis to the table.  Aaron Johnson was the only Illini to get an extra base hit today.  His double was one of two hits and he also scored two runs. 

Two more hits for Craig Lutes…  boy he’s really hitting the ball in 2010.  I think he’s solidifying his position in the lineup.  Considering our personnel situation, outfield is probably the best place for him but we’ll miss his outstanding defense at first. 

I don’t want to belabor the pitching situation.  One, I know Coach Hartleb and the coaching staff are going to deal with it.  We have a very pitching young staff.  Even our “experienced” pitchers are a little green so it’s impacting our staff.  I’ll just say that it’s my guess that Coach Hartleb might be adjusting the pitching strategy throughout the weeks before we start playing conference games and I’ll leave it at that.  If I’m wrong, you can call me on it. 

Next up

The Illini have a few days off to recoup before they go down to Conway, South Carolina on Friday.  There, they will play in the Caravelle Resort Classic.  First up on Friday morning, they’ll take on the Lipscomb University Bisons.  They won’t get much rest after that.  That afternoon, they’ll play the Coastal Carolina (yes, another Carolina) Chanticleers.  Coastal Carolina, by the way, is ranked #8 in the nation.

Get some rest, team.

Go Illini!!

PS Happy Birthday, former Illini 3B Dom Altobelli!

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