Illini baseball takes Big Ten opener

Sophomore right-hander Lee Zerrusen pitched six innings Friday night and was credited with his first win of the season as the No. 25 Illinois baseball team downed Michigan State, 10-3, in its Big Ten opener. The matchup, which was the first in a three-game series, saw the Illini (14-5) return home after five consecutive contests on the road.

Sophomore right-hander Lee Zerrusen pitched six innings Friday night and was credited with his first win of the season as the No. 25 Illinois baseball team downed Michigan State, 10-3, in its Big Ten opener. The matchup, which was the first in a three-game series, saw the Illini (14-5) return home after five consecutive contests on the road.

Sophomore outfielder Casey McMurray had a huge day offensively for Illinois, which led 8-2 after three innings. McMurray batted 3-for-5 with four RBIs and a home run. Illini shortstop Brandon Wikoff, a junior, also hit 3-for-5 with four RBIs, and freshman Willie Argo accounted for one RBI himself, batting 2-for-3.

Senior Nolan Moody was charged with the loss for MSU (7-15) after giving up 9 runs – four of which were earned – in seven innings of work. Sophomore center fielder Brandon Eckerle led the Spartans offensively, batting 2-for-3 and scoring one run.