Illinois baseball rained out

By Joey Figueroa

The Illinois baseball team may have finally met its match: rain.

Following two-straight wins over Big Ten foe Indiana (21-15, 5-8 Big Ten), Illinois (32-6-1, 10-1) couldn’t go for the series sweep and its 14th-straight victory on Sunday due to poor weather conditions.

Sunday’s game was originally scheduled to begin at noon but was moved up to 10 a.m. in an attempt to avoid the incoming rain. That didn’t work out, though, and after more than a four-hour rain delay, the conference matchup was cancelled anyway. There will be no makeup game.

The weekend series began with a 5-1 win for the Illini on Friday night. The starting pitcher, Kevin Duchene, struck out nine in seven innings and gave up just one run despite allowing ten hits. Illinois’ offense provided 11 hits and an RBI from five different batters, including a 3-for-4 performance from senior outfielder Casey Fletcher.

Illinois’ strong play carried over for a 6-3 victory on Saturday afternoon. Starting pitcher Drasen Johnson kept the Illini bullpen well-rested with a complete-game performance for his sixth win of the season. The senior gave up two earned runs, struck out six and allowed one walk. Illinois’ offense remained well rounded, led by sophomore outfielder Pat McInerney’s 4-for-4 performance.

The Illini enjoyed the largest crowds in consecutive games in Illinois Field history on Friday and Saturday. They’ll hope for a similar turnout when they try again for their 14th-straight win on Tuesday against Eastern Illinois.

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