No. 19 Illinois (14-4-1) hit three home runs and received impressive pitching from senior John Kravetz and junior Tyler Jay in Sunday's 4-1 series-clinching win over Southern Illinois (3-15). Sophomore Pat McInerney had the game-tying homer in the third, while senior Casey Fletcher connected on the game-winning bomb in the eighth.
The Salukis scored their only run on an RBI single in the third, but weren't ahead for long, as McInerney crushed a homer to left with two outs in the bottom half.
Kravetz, who received a no decision after seven solid innings, kept SIU off the board over his final four innings. He only gave up six hits and didn't walk anyone while striking out two.
Jay took over on the mound in the eighth and delivered two shutdown stanzas, retiring all six Salukis he faced. The Lemont, Illinois, native improved to 4-0 and has yet to allow a run in 22.1 innings this season.
In the 8th, Fletcher smacked an 0-2 pitch over the wall in right to put the Illini up 2-1.
David Kerian provided the insurance with a two-run shot to right later in the inning.
Illinois will play host to a three-game series at Illinois Field next weekend (March 20-22) when South Florida comes to town.