Illinois pitcher earns Big Ten recognition

By Erik Hall

The Illini returned Sunday night from South Carolina. Tuesday morning the Big Ten Conference named Illinois’ right-handed red-shirt junior Brian Blomquist the conference’s pitcher of the week.

“It just boosts my confidence,” Blomquist said. “I already know I can pitch well.”

Blomquist pitched Sunday against Wagner. He pitched six innings and got six strikeouts, allowing three hits and no runs.

“Blomquist had a very good ball game for a person that hadn’t pitched in two years,” said Illinois head baseball coach Itch Jones. “We were real pleased with him.”

Blomquist missed the entire 2004 season because of Tommy John elbow surgery.

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Before earning the win Sunday, Blomquist last pitched for Illinois on May 18, 2003.

Jones expects to start Blomquist in one of Illinois’ three games this weekend.

“I’ll just go out and pitch well again this weekend,” Blomquist said.