Illinois baseball travels to Mississippi for three-game set against Southern Illinois

By Adam Rosen, Assistant Sports Editor

The Illini were scheduled for their first full series at home this weekend. However, weather concerns prompted the series to be pushed south to the much warmer Booneville, Mississippi. Their opponent remains the same, as they’ll play the Salukis of Southern Illinois.

The team enjoyed being home, albeit for a short time, according to head coach Dan Hartleb.

“It was nice to be at home and sleep in our own beds,” Hartleb said. “We are disappointed that we don’t have the opportunity to play in front of our home crowd this weekend.”

The Illini are coming off an extra innings loss in their home opener to the Indiana State Sycamores. While the loss stung, there were some bright spots. Freshman right-hander Jake Swartz pitched in his first collegiate game, and according to head coach Dan Hartleb, this is just the beginning for the Bloomington native.

“I thought he did a great job,” Hartleb said. “He was very much in command of things and I thought he threw some really good pitches.”

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    As for another long road trip, it’s something the team has gotten used to. This will be their fifth road trip of the young season. The opportunity to get out of town is something the players are “excited about,” according to Hartleb.

    “All of these guys are used to it,” Hartleb said. “It’s what you do each and every year, and it’s part of what they have done in travel baseball.”

    The Salukis are 8-10 and possess a team on-base plus slugging percentage of .811 and a team earned run average of 6.82. The Illini, on the other hand, own a .858 OPS and 5.77 ERA.

    The first pitch will take place at 3:00 p.m. on Friday, while the games on Saturday and Sunday will start at 1:00 p.m. and noon respectively. All times are in Central Standard Time.



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