Pitchers toss shutout to end skid

Shawn Roof reacts as an Eastern Illinois player tries to steal a base on Tuesday. Illinois beat Eastern 8-0. Beck Diefenbach

Shawn Roof reacts as an Eastern Illinois player tries to steal a base on Tuesday. Illinois beat Eastern 8-0. Beck Diefenbach

By Jason Grodsky

Losers of its last three games going into Tuesday night’s game against Eastern Illinois, the Illinois baseball team got back in the win column with an 8-0 victory over the Panthers.

In their last three games, the Illini pitching staff had allowed 37 runs, but Tuesday night Illinois pitchers Ben Reeser, Scott Shaw and Jake Toohey combined to pitch only the third shutout of the season.

“Our pitching was outstanding,” head coach Dan Hartleb said. “All three pitchers located down in the zone and changed speeds well throughout the game.”

The three pitchers allowed just four hits and only five balls to be hit out of the infield the entire night.

Reeser, who started the game for the Illini, pitched four innings and gave up three hits en route to his third win of the season. Shaw then took over in the fifth inning and gave up only one hit before turning the ball over to Toohey, who sealed the victory with a perfect frame in the ninth inning.

Get The Daily Illini in your inbox!

  • Catch the latest on University of Illinois news, sports, and more. Delivered every weekday.
  • Stay up to date on all things Illini sports. Delivered every Monday.
This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.
Thank you for subscribing!

“I felt really good with all three of my pitches warming up in the bullpen, and it carried over into the game,” Reeser said. “Then it was great to see Shaw come in and have four strong innings. This was a really positive outing heading into this weekend for us.”

The Illini’s dominance on the mound overshadowed their solid performance at the plate. Illinois pounded out 15 hits, all singles, and every Illini starter either tallied a hit, run or RBI on the night.

Illinois broke the game open in the sixth inning when they sent ten hitters to the plate and scored five runs on six hits. The biggest blast of the inning came from the bat of Illinois junior catcher Lars Davis, whose two-run single capped off a 2-for-4 day at the plate.

“We really were able to re-group on our off day on Monday and come out to play tonight,” Davis said. “We didn’t have guys trying to swing for the fences tonight, instead we were just able to get some singles back-to-back and that’s what helped us score our runs tonight.”

With the win Illinois improved to 18-17 overall and pushed its career record against Eastern Illinois to 46-19 and were able to avenge its 10-6 loss in Charleston, Ill., last season.