Sweep! Illini take all three from the Billikens

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Trent Hammond gets a high five as he scores on Sunday

Wow!  What a beautiful sunny weekend!  It was perfect weather for baseball all three days and Illinois took advantage by sweeping the Saint Louis Billikens all three games.  With the sweep. Illinois now puts themselves above .500 with a 17-16 record. 

Major highlights

  • Trent Hammond goes 6 for 10 with 7 rbis for the weekend
  • Cole Bellair earns his first college win on Sunday
  • Michael Hurwitz extends his hit streak to nine games

 

 

Game #31 / April 15, 2016    
vs StLouBillLogo

6

  4

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Trent Hammond is welcomed at home after his homerun in the fifth inning

I’ve watched enough college baseball to know it is a real team sport.  But it wouldn’t be an overstatement to say that Friday night belonged to third baseman Trent Hammond. 

Down 4-0, Hammond got things going with a two-run homer in the fifth inning.  He wasn’t finished. Later in the eighth inning, Hammond drove in the winning run with a two-run single.  Illinois came back to win the game 6-4. 

Hammond finished the game 2 for 3 with four rbis and a homer to go along with his exemplary defense. 

Reliever J.D. Nielsen (3-1) got the win and Nick Blackburn notched the save, his seventh. 

Fighting Illini Game Wrapup

My photos from Friday night

Random Ramblings

A couple of fun photos of SLU fielding from Sunday. 

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Some fancy glovework…

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…and not so much. 

 

For the weekend, Trent Hammond was 6 for 10 with seven rbis.  What the stats don’t necessarily tell you is that #33 is playing some great defense at the hot corner.  That’s something which complements the team immensely and is needed on a team so young. 

Hammond’s batting average went up 40 points in three days and I was hoping we might see his name on the Big Ten’s weekly award list today but alas, it was not the case. 

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Hot hitting second baseman Mike Hurwitz slaps a hit on Sunday

Speaking of hot hitters, April 2 is the only gameday this month that Mike Hurwitz has NOT gotten a hit.  He came into April with a .197 average and he’s now hitting a cool .304.  Michael Hurwitz is 5’8” so he can easily coax a walk since his strikeout zone is small.  Hurwitz obviously isn’t relying on that though and that only helps the team. 

Finally, nice going Illini fans!  Over 4000 fans showed up for the three games this weekend.  In fact, the 4.529 recorded attendance for all three days set a weekend record for a non-conference series. 

 

Next up

This Tuesday, Illinois plays a rematch against Eastern Illinois and their coach, former Illini Jason Anderson.  First pitch in Mattoon is at 6pm. 

This coming weekend, Illinois will try to extend their winning streak against Ohio State.  The conference series begins on Friday at 6pm. 

Go Illini!


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