The Daily Illini

Illini baseball reaches new heights over summer break

Illinois pitcher Garrett Acton delivers the pitch during the game against Michigan in the Big Ten Tournament at TD Ameritrade Park on May 23, 2019. Due to COVID-19, the Illini baseball team will not participate in fall exhibition games.

By Rich Eberwein, Staff Writer

August 24, 2020

With the Big Ten postponing all fall sports due to COVID-19, the Illinois baseball team won’t be able to participate in their fall exhibition games and will instead look to the spring and hope their regular season is still on track for a February debut. Until then, we can look back on some highligh...

Former Illini Joey Gerber makes MLB debut

Illinois pitcher Joey Gerber (35) delivers the pitch during the game against Rutgers at Illinois Field on Friday, April 13, 2018

By Rich Eberwein, Staff Writer

August 6, 2020

Former Illini closer Joey Gerber pitched in his first Major League game with the Seattle Mariners on Tuesday. Gerber entered in the sixth inning in a contest against the Angels which took place at T-Mobile Park in Seattle. During his outing, the 23-year-old right-hander set down all three men he faced,...

Remembering Lou Henson: Former Illini, friends honor late Illinois legend

Former Illinois basketball head coach Lou Henson signs autographs for fans before the game against Penn State at Memorial Stadium on Friday, Sept. 21, 2018. The Illini lost 63-24.

By Gabby Hajduk, Sports Editor

July 31, 2020

Lou Henson is not only a legend in the Illinois and New Mexico State basketball communities but in all of college basketball. Henson, who passed away Saturday at the age of 88, will, more importantly, be remembered as a man of kindness and grace.  Henson coached collegiate basketball for 41 years, spending four...

Starting pitchers exceptional for Illini in recent years

Junior Kevin Duchene winds up for a pitch during competition in the 2015 season.

By Rich Eberwein, Staff Writer

July 29, 2020

Looking at the Illinois baseball team’s success over the years, quality starting pitching is a consistent factor in each winning season. Head coach Dan Hartleb will have to work his magic to shore up a thin starting rotation for the 2021 season. However, if Hartleb’s past work says anything, it'...

Opening day has finally arrived

Chicago Cubs center fielder Ian Happ wears a mask in the dugout on July 20, 2020 during an exhibition game at Guaranteed Rate Park.

By Rich Eberwein, Staff Writer

July 24, 2020

Better late than never, right? After a four-month hiatus thanks to the coronavirus, the first MLB regular season games were played last night. With only 60 games on the schedule, the stakes are a lot higher this year in an all-out sprint to October in a year that has “strange” written all over it. At...

Baseball America ranks Maldonado as top 100 draft prospect

Junior Aidan Maldonado  throws a pitch during competition.

By Rich Eberwein, Staff Writer

July 21, 2020

Illinois junior Aidan Maldonado ranked No. 77 on Baseball America’s top 100 2021 draft prospects list this week. Maldonado was drafted out of high school by the Milwaukee Brewers in 2018. The 5-11 righty was a four-year letter winner at Rosemount high school in Minnesota and was named the No. 2 re...

Illini bullpen impresses in 2010s

Senior Garrett Acton winds up for a pitch during competition.

By Rich Eberwein, Staff Writer

July 17, 2020

Illinois saw much success over the last decade with four NCAA tournament appearances, two Big Ten Championships and one Super Regional appearance in 2015. A major factor to the last decade’s fortune was a strong bullpen presence that spawned some of the best relievers in Illinois history. Tyler Jay...

Three stand out with best offensive performances in Illini baseball history

Junior Kyle Hudson jogs back to the dugout during the game against Illinois College on Wednesday, April 9,, 2008.

By Rich Eberwein, Staff Writer

July 16, 2020

During the brief 2020 baseball season, it looked as though Illinois shortstop Brandon Comia was on his way to a memorable offensive season after finishing with the fourth best batting average in the Big Ten.  Perhaps he will add his name to the list below when baseball returns to Illinois Field. Until tha...

Another college baseball program falls victim to virus

Senior Joey Gerber throws a pitch during competition.

By Rich Eberwein, Staff Writer

July 9, 2020

Boise State announced the elimination of its baseball, swimming and diving programs last week. Just three years ago, the Broncos decided to reactivate their baseball team after decades of dormancy dating back to 1980. "Today's decision came after an extensive review and in-depth analysis of the athletics...

Former Illini closer Joey Gerber named to Seattle Mariners’ 60-man roster

Senior Joey Gerber throws a pitch during competition.

By Rich Eberwein, Staff Writer

July 2, 2020

Prior to the announcement of Garrett Acton signing with the Athletics, Joey Gerber, another former Illini closer, was named to the Seattle Mariners’ 60-man roster on Monday. The Maple Grove, Minnesota, native ranks fourth on Illinois’s all-time saves list with 22 over three seasons. Gerber broke...

Garrett Acton heads to Bay Area

Senior Garrett Acton winds up for a pitch during competition.

By Rich Eberwein, Staff Writer

June 30, 2020

Illinois closer Garrett Acton is the latest Illini senior to move on to a professional career. Following the 2020 MLB draft, the Oakland Athletics offered Acton a free agent contract which he accepted two weeks ago. Acton’s time at Illinois was brief but impactful. Following his sophomore year,...

MLB finally gets 2020 plan in motion

A baseball with the MLB logo sits at Citizens Bank Park before a game between the Washington Nationals and Philadelphia Phillies on June 28, 2018 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

By Rich Eberwein, Staff Writer

June 25, 2020

As if the cancellation of sporting events due to a global pandemic wasn’t enough, MLB owners and the Player’s Association finally wrapped up months of negotiations that were both uncomfortable to watch and embarrassing for the game. For a sport that desperately needed a pick-me-up before the clock...

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