Illinois baseball to host first regional in school history


Illinois’ Pat McInerney celebrates his home run hit during the baseball game vs. Purdue at Illinois Field on April 11. The Illini were assigned the No. 6 national seed and will host a regional in the NCAA tournament.

By Peter Bailey-Wells

The Illinois baseball team already won the Big Ten regular season title, ripped off a 27-game win streak and have the highest winning percentage in the country.

Now the Illini shoot for Omaha.

From May 29-June 1, Illinois will play host to the Champaign regional as the No. 6 national seed in the NCAA tournament. If the Illini win the regional, their status as a national seed allows them to host a super regional as well.

That means that until the start of the eight-team College World Series in Omaha, Nebraska, the Illini will play at home.

In addition to Illinois, the Champaign regional features No. 2 seed Notre Dame, No. 3 seed Wright State and No. 4 seed Ohio.

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The Illini finished 47-8-1, first in the Big Ten standings and lost in the semifinals of the Big Ten tournament to eventual champion Michigan. Junior Tyler Jay was named Big Ten Pitcher of the Year, senior David Kerian was named Big Ten Player of the Year and head coach Dan Hartleb was named Big Ten Coach of the Year.

This season marks the first time in school history the Illini have been named a national seed in the tournament.

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