Illini Baseball Team Win Streak At 21 After Weekend Sweep
The No. 6 Illinois baseball team continued its school-record winning streak throughout the weekend at Ohio State, winning 8-1 Friday, coming back for a 6-5 victory Saturday, and finishing off the series with a 6-2 victory.
The Illini trailed 2-0 in the third inning Sunday when they started their comeback against the Buckeyes, which included a David Kerian's solo homer, and his go-ahead 2-run single an inning later, and they never looked back. Kerian went 7-for-11 with five runs and three RBI on the weekend.
On the mound, Redshirt-senior Rob McDonnell took over for starter John Kravetz, and didn't allow a run over four innings. He earned his second win of the week.
The 21-game winning streak is the longest active streak in the NCAA and the second-longest this season behind Texas A&M (24.) With Sunday's win, the Illini (40-6-1), maintained their No. 1 winning percentage in the NCAA (.862) This is also the fastest Illinois has ever reached 40 victories. Illinois hasn't lost a game since March 29, dropping a 5-2 decision to Michigan State in East Lansing.
On Saturday, Illinois scored three runs in the fifth and sixth innings to support the pitching of Drasen Johnson (7-2.) Closer Tyler Jay got last seven outs for his ninth save.
Hitting starts included Adam Walton, Will Krug, and Ryne Roper.
Kevin Duchene was the starting pitcher for the Illini on Friday's win, striking out seven Buckeye batters, while allowing just three hits and one run over eight innings. Reliever Doug Hayes pitched a scoreless 9th inning.
Illinois was leading 4-0 after two innings, and gained their other four runs in the 6th inning.
Every batter on the Illinois starting lineup made a hit, with two each from Adam Walton, Ryan Nagle, David Kerian and Ryne Roper. The Illini had a total of 13 hits in the game.
Ohio State's only run came in the 5th inning. Craig Nenning hit a triple to push single-hitting Jordan McDonough to home plate.
After Jordan McDonough reached base on a bloop single to right, Craig Nennig pushed him around home plate with a triple down the right field line.
Illinois is now 16-1 in the Big Ten Conference. Ohio State falls to 31-13 overall and 12-6 in Big Ten play.
The Illini next take on Rutgers at Illinois Field in Champaign for a three-game set. They'll close out the regular season hosting Nebraska May 14-16.