No. 17 Illinois (18-5-1) rounded out its longest stretch at home this season with a 9-4 victory over Kent State (10-10). Starter Rob McDonnell earned his second win with five scoreless frames, while the offense notched 12 hits, led by three from junior Ryan Nagle and a three-run triple by sophomore Matthew James.
Sophomore Pat McInerney, who leads the team with a .403 average, went 2-for-3 with two RBI and started the scoring with an RBI double in the first. Nagle singled and stole second before crossing home as the first run.
McDonnell (2-1) exited after five solid innings with three hits and three strikeouts.
The Illini broke it open with a five-run seventh for a 9-1 edge. Four consecutive walks forced a run home followed by James' bases-clearing triple off the wall in center. Sophomore Ryne Roper brought home James with an RBI groundout.
Illinois finished 7-2 during its nine-game homestand at Illinois Field.
Due to expected cold temperatures in East Lansing on Friday, this weekend's Big Ten series between No. 17 Illinois and Michigan State has been moved to Saturday through Monday at McLane Baseball Stadium. Each game is scheduled to begin at Noon CT.
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