Acton breaks all-time program save record

Illinois+closing+senior+pitcher+Garrett+Acton+de+the+pitch+during+the+game+against+Michigan+at+TD+Ameritrade+Park+on+May+23.+Acton+broke+Illinois%E2%80%99+record+for+career+saves+with+25+during+the+Illini%E2%80%99s+game+against+the+Elon+Phoenix+on+Sunday.

The Daily Illini File Photo

Illinois closing senior pitcher Garrett Acton de the pitch during the game against Michigan at TD Ameritrade Park on May 23. Acton broke Illinois’ record for career saves with 25 during the Illini’s game against the Elon Phoenix on Sunday.

By Rich Eberwein, Staff writer

History was made on Sunday in North Carolina as senior Garrett Acton locked down his 25th save in an Illini uniform to break the University of Illinois’ career saves record.

In the rubber game of a best of three series against the Elon Phoenix, Acton was brought in to hold an 8-7 lead after a grand slam put the Phoenix within a run. Acton walked a man but retired the next two to preserve the lead.  A one-two-three ninth inning put Acton on top of the Illinois career saves list and gave the Illini their third straight winning weekend.

The record was previously held by former closer Tyler Jay, who was drafted by the Twins in the first round of the 2015 MLB draft and currently pitches in the Cincinnati Reds organization. Acton, who hails from Lemont, Illinois, set the Big Ten single-season saves record last year after closing out 19 contests for the Illini. With a fastball clocking in at the mid-to-high 90s and an impressive resume, Acton will be a coveted prospect in the MLB after already getting drafted by the White Sox out of high school in 2016.

@ebs_rich

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