The Illinois baseball team debuted at No. 25 in Monday's Collegiate Baseball Newspaper top 25, the program's first ranking since 2015. The Illini have won five straight games, including beating three of the last six NCAA Champions (Coastal Carolina, UCLA and Arizona).
Illinois (6-3) was crowned Big Ten-Pac-12 Challenge champions last weekend by sweeping Pac-12 opponents UCLA, Arizona and Washington. The Illini own wins over consensus top-25 teams UCLA and Coastal Carolina and are 2-1 against the top 25 (loss vs. Coastal).
Defense has led Illinois through the first nine games of the season. The Illini rank second in the nation in field percentage (.994), behind only Southern California (.997).
Illinois did not appear in rankings done by D1Baseball.com or Baseball America.