Illinois baseball faces Indiana in Big Ten tournament


By Adam Rosen, Summer Editor

Illinois (25-25, 12-12) enters the Big Ten tournament as the seventh seed in the conference. On the horizon for the first game are the Indiana Hoosiers (40-16, 16-8) who hold the second seed in the tournament. The winner of this game will take on the winner of Michigan/Iowa and the losing team will match up with the other nonvictorious side.

The Illini have already played the Hoosiers this year, losing two out of three at Illinois Field to their eastern rivals. This stands as a rematch of last season’s double elimination game, when the Illini lost to the Hoosiers in the Big Ten tournament, which ended their season abruptly.

Illinois ended its regular season with a series win over the University of Tennessee-Martin, taking two out of three at Illinois Field. The tournament takes place in Omaha, Nebraska and as usual is a double elimination format, where teams will have a chance to redeem themselves if they lose their opening matchup.

Charles Schwab Field, formerly TD Ameritrade Park, has hosted the Big Ten tournament yearly since 2018, hosting on two previous occasions. The ballpark is also the home of the College World Series, in which Illinois can begin a path by winning the conference tournament.

However, the Hoosiers are no slouch having won nine of their last 11 games. The Hoosiers have been among the Big Ten’s best since the conference season started. The Illini have struggled to find form and consistency, but have been able to maintain a .500 record throughout a rollercoaster season.

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    Illinois has a golden opportunity in its grasp with the chance to go on a run in a sport where it’s all about who gets hot at the right time. But, it will certainly not come easily, as a win would pit the Illini on a path that would likely see them as underdogs for a majority.

    A few weeks ago, head coach Dan Hartleb preached his faith in the ball club’s ability to get hot and win when they need it most. The Illini will certainly need to do that if they want this season to continue past Wednesday.

    The first game is scheduled to begin at 2 p.m. CDT. More details on Illinois’ second game will be learned after the result of Michigan/Iowa earlier in the day and following the Illinois game.



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