Illini baseball team extends winning streak to four

By Jason Grodsky

The Illinois baseball team has strung together its first winning streak of the season.

The Illini have won four in a row after downing Massachusetts 4-0 on Wednesday and Dartmouth 5-2 on Thursday in Bradenton, Fla.

While the trend so far on the Illini’s spring trip to the IMG Baseball Academy has been offensive, it was the Illini’s pitching that stole the show in games four and five of the trip.

Sophomore starting pitcher Aaron Martin had a career day on Wednesday, throwing eight shutout innings while allowing eight hits and striking out four batters. Fellow sophomore Ben Reeser closed the game out in the ninth inning with a scoreless frame to combine for the Illini’s first shutout since May 21, 2005.

Illinois’ pitching continued to excel the following day as sophomore Tanner Roark captured his first win of the year after tossing six solid innings. Freshman pitcher Billy Barrett also notched his first career save with three shutout innings of relief to propel Illinois to a 5-2 win over Dartmouth.

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Illini senior catcher Lars Davis also continued his hot streak at the plate, going 4-for-5 with three RBIs and a first inning home run. It was the second straight day Davis put together a four hit game and his home run was his second of the trip and third of the season.

The Illini will cap off their spring trip with a third game against Dartmouth on Friday morning.