A little pressure has been lifted off the Illini for the time being, at least.
Illinois is now guaranteed a #2 or #3 seed in the Big Ten Tournament. Illinois Baseball puts it simply on Twitter…
As far as the top three, it really is that simple. Indiana, Illinois and Nebraska have distanced themselves from the rest of the conference. Fourth place Minnesota is a full four games behind the Illini and the Cornhuskers. As for Indiana, they have even distanced themselves from the two tied for second. Currently, they are three games up in the standings.
Going into the last regular season weekend, let’s take a look at the standings of the Big Ten:
|6. Ohio State||9-12||.429||28-24||.538|
|9. Penn State||5-15||.250||17-29||.370|
With Illinois’ sweep of Iowa last weekend, Coach Hartleb has already equaled his season-high in Big Ten victories with 16. That with three more games left in the regular season, too. Illinois’ mark of 30-17 also means that Hartleb has six 30-win seasons under his belt, too. Quite a year of accomplishment for the manager who moved into 4th place among Illini baseball coaches in wins.
Worth noting, the Fighting Illini swept their Big Ten opponents on the road for the first time in history. They went 9-0 against opponents Penn State, Northwestern and this previous weekend, Iowa.
The Illini will have a long trip coming up. They’ll be playing Nebraska this weekend. Note the series starts on Thursday this time. Win or lose, they will be in the Big Tournament which is conveniently in Omaha and starts on May 21.
Game time for Thursday’s game is 6:35pm.