Jason Goldstein's go-ahead RBI single in the ninth inning Sunday gave the Illinois baseball team a 5-4 win over Maryland to clinch the three-game series at Bob "Turtle" Smith Stadium.
Illinois rallied to take a 4-2 lead in the eighth inning, but Maryland tied it up in the bottom half of the inning to set up Goldstein's heroics.
Jack Yalowitz singled with two outs in the ninth and Trent Hammond followed with his third hit of the day, tying a career high. Yalowitz then made a heads up base running play, swiping third on a throw back to the pitcher while the third baseman wondered with his head down, and trotted home on Goldstein's sharp single to right field.
Pat McInerney had given the Illini the lead with a two-RBI single in the eighth. That scored Hurwitz and Hammond, after Hurwitz extended his reached base to 24 games with a walk.
Nick Blackburn (1-3) picked up the win by throwing the final 1.2 innings, allowing the tying run in the eighth before shutting down Maryland in a 1-2-3 ninth.
Blackburn relieved Andrew Mamlic, who went 4.0 innings in relief while allowing only one run on four hits.
Mamlic worked 10.1 consecutive innings without an earned run this week, before being tagged with a run in the eighth.
Cole Bellair started and allowed two runs (one earned) in 3.1 innings.
It was an important win for Illinois, which moved within a game of Maryland in the Big Ten standings. Illinois (25-20, 9-9 Big Ten) is back to .500 in conference play and is one game out of eighth place, the cutoff line for the Big Ten Tournament, at the end of the day.
The Illini own the head-to-head tiebreaker over three of the other four teams that rank No. 6-10 – Penn State, Ohio State and Maryland.
The Fighting Illini and Terrapins split a doubleheader Saturday.
The Illini are on the road again next weekend at Indiana. Illinois finishes the season May 19-21 with a three-game series against Michigan at Illinois Field.