Junior Tyler Jay dazzled in his first career start and the offense dominated the day with 19 hits in a 9-3 win over Lamar as Illinois swept its opening weekend at the Lamar Cardinal Classic to begin their season 4-0.
Illinois backed Jay with eight runs over the first four innings. Second basemen Reid Roper and third basemen Ryne Roper collected three hits apiece. Reid collected three RBIs and two runs scored. Adam Walton, Ryan Nagle, Casey Fletcher, David Kerian and Pat McInerney each had a pair of hits.
Illinois hit .357 and outscored its opponents 26-7 on the weekend. The Illini pitching staff posted a 1.46 ERA with a .130 opposing average.
Four Illini starting pitchers, Drasen Johnson, Rob McDonnell, John Kravetz and Jay, combined for a 0.34 ERA over 26.1 innings pitched with 25 strikeouts and only eight hits and three walks. Their only run allowed was a solo home run in the third game.
Illinois will be back in action next weekend in Fort Myers, Fla., with two games against Florida Gulf Coast and one against Fordham.