Dan Rowbottom drove in a career-high four runs Wednesday, including a three-RBI double in the eighth, to propel the Illinois baseball team to a 6-3 win over Southern Illinois at Illinois Field. Rowbottom also scored a run to play a part in five of the Illini's six runs.
Illinois (23-19) won its second game in as many days after beating Missouri, 6-4, Tuesday night.
Neither team led by more than one run, until Rowbottom broke a 2-2 tie with his eighth-inning double. Once he reached second, Southern Illinois shortstop and cutoff man Will Farmer tried to hold a throw, but the ball flew out of his hand and into the ground, bouncing all the way to Southern Illinois' dugout and allowing Rowbottom to score. Rowbottom previously singled home Anthony Drago in the sixth to tie the game.
Brendan Meissner (1-0) earned his first career win in relief of Quinten Sefcik (4.2 IP) and Charlie Naso (2.1 IP). Sefcik started and allowed two runs, before Naso came in to shut out SIU in 2.1 innings and dropped his season ERA to a team-best 1.99. J.D. Nielsen followed Meissner's one-inning, one-run effort with three straight outs to lock up his fifth save of the season.
Southern Illinois (25-19-1) was led by Connor Kopach and Greg Lambert, who each had two hits and a RBI.
Monticello High School graduate, Jacob Williams (1-3) allowed the first three batters to reach in the eighth, then Austin Covers gave up Rowbottom's double. Williams was tagged with his third loss of the year.
Rowbottom was joined by Antony Drago and Pat McInerney with two hits for Illinois. Michael Hurwitz extended his career-best reached base streak to 21 games with a double to the right center gap in the second inning. Hurwitz scored the Illini's first run on a double play ball off the bat of Drago.
Illinois travels to Maryland this weekend for a three-game set Friday-Sunday. All nine of the Fighting Illini's remaining games are Big Ten matchups.
Information Courtesy of FightingIllini.com.