Illinois' Tyler Engel delivered a pinch hit sac fly in the 10th inning Tuesday to score the winning run in a 6-5 victory at Illinois State. The Illini completed the two-game season sweep of Illinois State and beat the Redbirds for the fifth straight time.
Illinois (12-18) won for the sixth time in its last eight games.
The Illini scored single runs in the ninth and 10th innings to come back for the win. Jack Yalowitz doubled and scored on an error by the pitcher to send the game to extra innings, when Engel's fly ball to center field scored Mark Skonieczny.
Illinois State (11-19) trailed 4-1 in the seventh, but scored three runs on three hits, including two doubles to knot the score at 4-4. A run in the eighth made it 5-4 in the back-and-forth final innings.
Joey Gerber (1-0) went the final three innings, his longest career outing, for the win. He allowed an inherited runner to score in the eighth, before shutting down the Redbirds for three innings pitched, two hits, zero runs and two strikeouts.
Yalowitz led Illinois with four hits, tying a career high, two runs and an RBI. Casey Dodge and Skonieczny added two hits and Michael Massey chipped in a two-out, two-RBI double.
Owen Miller did most of the heavy lifting for the Redbird offense, going 2-for-3 with a home run, double, two walks and two runs scored.
Jack Landwehr (1-3) took the loss for Illinois State by allowing the 10th-inning run.
Redbird starter Colton Johnson allowed three runs (two earned) over a career-long start of 4.2 innings. He scattered six hits, walked three and fanned one.
Illinois is back home this weekend against Northwestern.
The Illinois State baseball team returns to Duffy Bass Field on Wednesday to take on Illinois Wesleyan in the annual Horenberger-Bass Classic. First pitch is at 4 p.m.