Illinois scored 13 runs in the first five innings Tuesday to beat Western Michigan 13-3. Mark Skonieczny hit a three-run home run, Trent Hammond had an inside-the-park homer and Michael Massey was a triple away from the cycle.
Illinois (15-19, 3-6 Big Ten) won for the ninth time in the last 12 games. The Illini had 14 hits and Western Michigan made five errors as Illinois came within two runs of tying its season high.
Massey finished the day 3 for 5 with a double, homer, three RBIs and three runs scored. Tyler Engel, who was making his first career start, Casey Dodge, Skonieczny and Doran Turchin all had two hits.
Skonieczny and Hammond provided the big blows in a six-run third inning with their home runs. Both finished the day with three RBIs.
Illini starter Cole Bellair (3-2) was overshadowed by the offense in a quality start. He tied a season best with six innings pitched, while allowing two runs on six hits and striking out six. Bellair threw 80 pitches, 58 for strikes, and walked just one batter. Zak Devermann (1.0 IP, 0 R), Ryan Thompson (1.0 IP, 1 R) and Zack Jones (1.0 IP, 0 R) each gave Illinois an inning out of the bullpen.
Illinois travels to Purdue this weekend for three games Friday-Sunday.