Illinois advance to Super Regional with 8-4 win over Wright State


Will Krug hit an rbi double in the fifth inning

In a wild comeback game with just a little bit of controversy, the Illini have advanced to their first Super Regional!  Behind the strong bats of Will Krug, David Kerian and Ryne Roper and lights-out pitching of Tyler Jay, Illinois defeated the Wright State Raiders 8-4.  With the win, they clinch the NCAA Champaign Regional Championship and advance to the Super Regional.

Illinois went a clean 3-0 in the Champaign Regional defeating each tournament team once.  They will face Vanderbilt in the Super Regional hosted here in Champaign next weekend.  The win is Illinois’ 50th which is the most in the school’s history breaking the record set in 1982.

Game #59 / June 1, 2015





David Kerian gets congrats from the Illini batboy after his two-run homer

Baseball is funny sometimes,  With a 4-4 tie, Wright State walked Big Ten Player of the Year David Kerian in the sixth inning to get to Will Krug.  Gutsy move.  Krug has already had a fantastic Champaign Regional weekend and on top of that, he doubled in a run in the fifth inning.  How did Krug respond?  Simply by doubling again, this time scoring Jason Goldstein.

They didn’t intentionally walk Kerian in the ninth inning.  THAT was big mistake.  Kerian hit a two-run homer extending the Illini lead to 7-4.  Krug did get his third of the day though and eventually scored.



Going back to the sixth inning, Kerian was thrown out at the plate on Krug’s double and there was a collision at the plate.  As you can see from the photo, the Wright State catcher was blocking the plate.  The Wright State head coach thought Kerian should have been ejected and thought he could convince the umpire.


Well, you know how discussions like that can go.  Coach Greg Lovelady was eventually ejected himself.  When he wouldn’t leave, he was escorted out by the U of I Police.  An inning later, Wright State shortstop Mitch Roman was also ejected and escorted out.  Both had to watch (listen?) from the Illinois Field parking lot.

Oh, it turns out that the U of I Police Department has a sense of humor…

The bottom third of the order, Kerian, Krug and Ryne Roper combined for six hits and six rbis.


Tyler Jay breaks school save record

J.D. Nielsen got the big win today with just one third of a innings work.  It was Tyler Jay who came in the sixth inning and showed everyone why he was chosen Big Ten Pitcher of the Year.  In four innings, he allowed just hit and struck out five Raider batters.  Retiring the last 12 batters, he earned his 14th save and clinched the win for the Illini.  Jay’s save break’s the school record for saves in a season.



Lots of photos are here at the IBR photo gallery.

If you’re interested in going to the Super Regional, keep an eye on @IllinoisBaseball on Twitter or their website.  Tickets are probably going on sale on Tuesday in the morning.  Vanderbilt was last year’s National Champion so either way you look at it, we’re looking at a new brand of baseball next weekend.

Great job, Illini!!

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  1. Such an exciting day for Illini baseball! Great recap, Tom!

  2. Thanks Chris! Indeed, a fantastic day!

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